This session was based around the song My Hope is Built on Nothing Less (Mote, 1863), a well-known hymn which contains the simple yet powerful chorus “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand”, and a new song Cornerstone (Hillsong Worship, 2012) which takes inspiration and most of its lyrics from Mote’s hymn.
All the lyrics and questions are found in the booklet but you can get the questions in PDF form HERE!
Edward Mote grew up with parents who were hostile to religion, and was introduced to Christianity by the cabinet maker to whom he was apprenticed. He was often busy with work, but one day was inspired to write down the chorus to this hymn, and by the end of the day he had composed the other verses. In the following days, Mote was called to visit a friend’s wife who was ill and they decided to sing a hymn, the only hymn Mote had with him was the one he’d been writing; the wife liked the hymn so much she asked for a copy and Mote felt encouraged to have more copies printed, soon he’d become the author of a beloved hymn (Donovan, 2007).
Norton Hall Band – My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less
Hillsong Worship – Cornerstone
We established that we felt both songs are powerful; Mote’s lays out the foundation of his beliefs and Hillsong’s makes it relevant to a new generation. The words, however, maintain the same meaning; solid rock – cornerstone, Jesus is our firm foundation.
We spoke about “the sweetest frame”, Ward (1998) explains:
“In the first stanza, hardly a clearer statement of total dependence on Christ could be made. Mote recognizes that our hope for eternal life depends completely upon Jesus’ righteousness, not on some sweet earthly frame. Nothing in this hymn ever hints that any work on our part can add to Christ’s work in order to secure our eternal salvation.”
The lyrics in both songs then, express that it is only Jesus who is enough to save us through His love (Romans 5:8); this love is what we need to share.
- Bible (n.d.) ESV Bible. Bible Gateway [online]. Available at: https://www.biblegateway.com (Accessed: 7 November 2016).
- Donovan, R. (2007) Hymn Story: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” Sermon Writer [online]. Available at: https://www.sermonwriter.com/hymn-stories/hope-built-nothing-less (Accessed: 6 November 2016).
- Ejike, P.D. (2013) Cornerstone – explained. ACC [online]. Available at: http://www.amblecotechristiancentre.org.uk/creative/cornerstone-explained/ (Accessed: 7 November 2016).
- Hillsong Worship (2012) Cornerstone.
- Mote, E. (1863) My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less.
- Ward, K. (1998). A Hymn of Grace: The Solid Rock Faithalone.org [online]. Available at: http://faithalone.org/journal/1998i/Ward.html (Accessed 15 April 2017).