Christ is Made the Sure Foundation

We can find some great theology in some of the lesser known hymns of the church, especially the texts that come to us from the ancient church, including Christ is Made the Sure Foundation, UMH #559. The early church had to be theologically clear in its texts, as their work was teaching the early converts the foundations of their faith, while establishing the foundations of Christian theology upon which modern theology is based. The hymns we sing today that were based on these early texts are usually full of that same wisdom and clarity, and can be sung and treasured even today.

Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone;
chosen of the Lord and precious,
binding all the church in one;
holy Zion’s help forever,
and her confidence alone.

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O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Have you ever opened a hymnal and looked at a favorite hymn, and discovered that someone came along and changed the words you grew up with and loved?

I’ll bet this has happened to you, unless you’re really young; I first experienced this when I was at a youth retreat in high school. I felt a sort of nostalgic disappointment, because I loved this hymn the way it was, and why did they have to go and change it anyway?

I’ll let you in on a secret-that’s-not-really-a-secret: the version that you learned probably wasn’t the original, either. Hymns are changed all the time, and for all sorts of reasons.

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