Posts Tagged ‘Edward Mote’

Edward Mote

In our post-modern love of all things new, coupled with the disregard, if not disdain, of all things old, I hope that some of the wonderful contemporary Christian music will still be sung 200 years from now.

You know that I walk most mornings and try to both pray and listen to God during that very quiet time. One of the half-dozen songs that I regularly sing (very quietly) to myself as I walk is the hymn My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less, written by Edward Mote around 1834.

Edward Mote was at first in the cabinetry business which explains the framing metaphors in the first verse of the song—something I missed completely until I really focused on the words in recent years.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.   These words still challenge me to think about the other things I construct in my life to give me stability! Sometimes these constructs are quite sweet as the song says, like family, friendships, even church—but all structures constructed from temporal materials by human hands will eventually fail.

Sweet parents die and leave us alone; the best of spouses turns out to be just as human as I am; friends drift away, and even the warmest church fellowship can cool—nothing is the same yesterday, today, and forever, except  Everlasting God!

I love this song because it does not try to dispose lightly of the ‘whelming flood . . .  when all around my soul gives way.  But Mote captured in the words—at least for me—not the inevitable eternal victory with Jesus that will make everything right, but rather the Beistand that is the very nature of Jesus.

Sorry to use the German word, but it is just better than any I can think of in English at the moment. Beistand is literally “standing beside” .  It’s not rescue from the ‘whelming flood, but rather  that Jesus gives—my Hope and stay!  I am not alone—ever—regardless—in spite of!

Jesus came in the flesh and dwelt among us! “I am with you always!”

And what a beautiful expression of the grace of God: When He shall come with trumpet sound . . . dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before His Throne!  I love the repetition of He, His, His!  It’s all about Jesus—from the Beginning to End—and to the New Beginning!

The music carries the message so well in the chorus: staying on the same note, lifted off the bottom of the scale: On Christ the Solid . . . then climbing one worshipful step up to the Rock I Stand . . . for me a very musical expression of personal  stability in Jesus!

My Hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. . . . that’s my prayer and my declaration this beautiful Sunday morning!

Just a little historical note: Edward Mote was such a faithful minister that at the end of his preaching career, the church wanted to give him literally the keys and title to the church building.  Reportedly, his reply was, “I do not want the cha­pel, I on­ly want the pul­pit; and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that.”

He didn’t need the security of ownership. He enjoyed the security of faithful Hope!

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