Christ is Made the Sure Foundation

Oct 21, 2011

by Lenora Morrow

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.
All that dedicated city, dearly loved of God on high,
In exulted jubilation pours pertpetual melody; 
God the One in Three adoring in glad hymns eternally.
Laud and honor to the Father, Laud and honor to the Son.
Laud and honor to the Spirit, ever Three and ever One.
One in might, and One in glory,
While unending ages run.

These stanzas are familiar to all of us at Second. Yet as you sing them this Sunday, you will notice a different tune has been applied, Henry Purcell’s stately and majestic tune WESTMINSTER ABBEY. Henry Purcell, perhaps one of the most celebrated English composers of the 17th century (known in wedding circles as the composer of the famed ‘Trumpet Tune’), was the organist of Westminster Abbey and also the Royal Chapel in London. While holding both of these posts, he dedicated himself to the composition of some of the most glorious and courtly sacred music the church has ever known; in short, Purcell composed music fit for a King.

The hymn and tune we will be singing this Sunday has been used in royal weddings and other majestic cathedral services throughout the years in Great Britain. The regal nature of this tune embodies the pomp and circumstance which all of us associate with royalty. I am reminded whenever I play this tune, and reflect on this text, of another wedding of a King to His Bride, to which we, the Body of Christ, look expectantly. Christ is our Bridegroom, our ‘Cornerstone,’ and our ‘confidence.’ His return will be more glorious, more full of majesty and more regal than we can possibly imagine. Our King, ‘holy Zion’s help,’ will return one day on the clouds of heaven to reclaim us, the Church (all of you!), to Himself.

We saw a glimpse of this glorious majesty last week, as Sandy unfolded the vision in Daniel chapter 7; ‘Behold, with the clouds of heaven, there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.’ What a majestic view of Christ’s dominion and reign as King!

We hear much in worship about the ‘beauty of holiness.’ Sandy beautifully defined this statement for us as worshippers; ‘When God’s people who love Him, open their hearts and raise their voices, joyfully and zealously, to Him – That is the beauty of holiness.’
How will you greet the Ancient of Days, your Sure Foundation, this Sabbath morning? May it be with reverent awe and joyful worship!