These songs are about hope and the person who loves us so much that we can put our hope firmly in him.
Hope is a concept like grace is and as such is made up of elements. One element of hope involves the idea of waiting patiently for, anticipating or looking to. It has the flavour of future expectation. Another element of hope is that it is an anchor for the soul during the storms of life--firm, solid and secure. A third element of hope involves trust in someone or something. We can hope in a person, an institution, gods or a living God. All these elements of hope are part of the Hebrew definitions of hope and day to day elements of hope as well as the Christian definition of hope. Hope can be defined then as anchoring or attaching onto something a person trusts and involves looking to it in expectation. In other words it is an anchor for the soul in times of trouble. It keeps us from going under and drowning in the high waters and storms of life such as financial troubles, family troubles or illness.
A researcher M.F. Scheier discovered that middle-aged men recovering from heart by-pass surgery had a faster rate of physical healing after surgery if their dispositon was optimistic. Medicine and scientific studies have shown the beneficial effects of hope upon the sick who are capable of recovery. Mother Teresa showed how the power of hope can transform the lives of those who are dying. Mother Teresa showed Christ's love to many incurable people. It was anticipation of heaven- the hope- that brought joy and peace to them as they were dying. As Mother Teresa said of one woman “She died with a smile on her face”. Knowing God will be with us and help us through everything we go through including illness, death and beyond is called eternal life and is another aspect of the good news of the gospels. Belief in Jesus Christ can give this hope and assurance of eternal life to you too.
God our Father and the greatest physician of all can heal us and will if it is his will for us. If it is time to go home to him he wants to bring us to him in peace. The Christian hope involves gaining access and help from God our Father because of Jesus. It is after Jesus shed his blood on the cross and died that the veil which physically and spiritually kept men away from the presence of God was torn. Jesus Christ's death allowed all believers in him to enter the presence of God unhindered. Another way to look at it it is that when we grasp, hold attach or anchor to the veil our soul anchors to heaven and to God's presence that no storm in life can tear us away from or uproot us from. Knowing we can approach God our Father's presence for help gives assurance.
Hope in God quickens the healing process. The body is free to use its energy to heal. Fear, depression, worry and the opposite of hope which is despair places stress on the body including the immune system. Numerous studies have proven it. For example, Seligman demonstrated that pessimistic people were far more likely to become depressed and had twice as many colds, sore throats and flu outbreaks then the optimists.
Having discussed hope and the work of Jesus and hope and healing and scientific work supporting this, I'll discuss how the medley relates to all of this. The first song of the medley begins “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness”. His blood and death destroyed the curtain or veil that represented the unapproachability of God by man. His blood made us righteous so we can approach God for mercy in times of trouble.
In order to symbolize through dance this concept of hope, I look up as if to heaven to represent the element of hope involving looking to the one I trust in time of need. I look to God up in heaven to represent this aspect of hope. He is the one I look to in expectation in times of trouble. God the Father through Jesus is the one I trust in. God is the object or person I put my trust in.
As stated earlier one of the elements of hope involves attaching or anchoring to something or someone in time of need. I also mime reaching out and up as if to heaven and mime, grasping or anchoring to the veil. Later in the song there is a phrase that states “My anchor holds within the veil”. The torn veil represents the approachability of God because of the work of Jesus on the cross. After all trusting that God is approachable and is someone we draw near to and be present with and who loves us means we can expect help from him as well. Anchoring to this assurance is what hope is about .The hand movement ends as a firm secure grasp.
A clenched fist and a “V” sign to represent victory over despair. As mentioned earlier one element of hope involves future expectation. When a dancer moves forward either with her hands or feet it can represent the idea of the future. I do the mime involving anchoring to the veil slightly ahead of me to represent the element of hope of involving a future expectation.
Trust, another element of hope, involves a resting of the mind on the integrity and friendship of another. It means to rely on. We are all looking for someone to put our hope and trust in. To completely hope and trust in a person leads to despair. They eventually let us down and leave us with a sinking feeling. People are imperfect so they are bound to let us down because they are human. Institutions like the church, hospitals businesses and the justice system are imperfect because they are made up of imperfect people as well. God is perfect; he is someone we can trust. He may not give us everything we want but he will provide us with our needs.
The first hymn of this medley is called “The solid Rock”. The second line of this song is “I dare not trust the sweetest frame but only lean on Jesus name” Jesus is the one we can rest assured on or lean on. He is the one we can trust. We can rest our minds on his perfect integrity and love. He is the one we can rely on completely as the perfect lover of our soul. I represent the trust I can have and whose solid shoulder I can rest on and lean on by leaning my body to the side. It symbolizes the idea of resting assured on the lover of my soul-Jesus.
The next stanza of the song is “On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand”. Jesus the rock will help me stand and keep me standing. Other people and institutions are sinking sand. A house built on the rock stands. A house built on the sand will sink or fall.This is true of the soul or house of man as well. I represent this sinking feeling we get when our trust is built on imperfect ground or a flimsy foundation like sand, people or institutions instead of the rock or the solid foundation--Jesus by doing a slow sinking twist-like movement to the ground finished with my head in my hands in despair. All other ground is sinking sand after all Jesus is the solid rock.
In contrast, to represent that Jesus is the solid rock or firm foundation in my life, especially in times of need ,I do a firm sure stance and hold my hands up high firmly grasping onto the veil to represent that standing on the promises of God keeps me strongly and firmly standing in victory through the storms of life. I do a “V” with my arms and with my fists tightly holding on symbolically to the veil to represent the hope that is not uprooted; a hope that indeed is anchored firmly in heaven.
The third song of this medley includes these verses, “From heaven He came and sought her to be His holy bride; With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died”. The relationship between a husband and wife or bride and groom is very intimate by nature. Intimacy is defined as a very personal and private relationship characterized by a deep trust. We can have a personal and close relationship with Jesus who symbolically can be seen as our groom in a spiritual sense. God wants to relate to those he created. Jesus is represented as the groom, the believer and the body of believers [the church] are represented as the church.. Jesus died for his bride. The ulitimate sacrifice we can make for the one we love is to die in order that they may live. This is what Jesus did for his bride. He died so we may live with him here on earth and in heaven when we die. This is eternal life.
I place my hope and trust in him precisely because he is the only person in the whole world who loved me enough to die for me. He loved you so much that he died for you too and wants to reach out and relate and love you personally too. If you want to get to know more about him, and find out how to receive him and eternal life see searchers.
I symbolize the placing of my hope and trust in him by extending my hand out to his up in heaven. After all, an intimate relationship is built of hope and trust. A bride and groom hold hands. Holding hands is the universal word for intimacy and love. The relationship of Jesus and his church and Jesus and a believer is the same. By the simple gesture of holding my hand out to heaven I am saying I have an personal relationship with Jesus. For the phrase “to be His holy bride”. I place my hand up high as if placing it in Jesus's own hand to represent this groom-bride relationship individual Christians have with Jesus and the church as a whole should have with Jesus.