Tuesday Hymns: “O Christ, Our Hope, Our Heart’s Desire”

There are some great new hymns out there for Christ’s Church to sing when we gather to worship Him. Keith and Kristyn Getty’s,In Christ Alone,” is one of them. Another is a hymn that we sang Sunday entitled, The Power of the Cross,” by the same couple. The hymns make a clear presentation of the Gospel and the glory of Christ, and enable us to look beyond ourselves to the grace of Christ as our “only comfort in life and death.”

However, our Tuesday Hymn of the Week comes not from the last decade, or even the last millennium; it was composed in the late 7th or early 8th century by an anonymous Christian. “O Christ, Our Hope, Our Heart’s Desire,” speaks to us of Christ as our Creator, our Redeemer, our Lasting Joy, and our Everlasting Reward. Christ is presented as “redemption’s only spring” (which speaks of His exclusivity) and as our Substitute which took our sins upon Himself that we “might be set free” (which speaks of His Substitutionary Atonement).

It is sung to the familiar tune, BRADFORD, by one of my favorite composers, George Frederick Handel.

O Christ, our Hope, our heart’s Desire,
Redemption’s only Spring!
Creator of the world art Thou,
Its Savior and its King.

How vast the mercy and the love
Which laid our sins on Thee,
And led Thee to a cruel death,
To set Thy people free.

But now the bands of death are burst,
The ransom has been paid,
And Thou art on Thy Father’s throne,
In glorious robes arrayed.

O may Thy mighty love prevail
Our sinful souls to spare;
O may we come before Thy throne,
And find acceptance there!

O Christ, be Thou our lasting Joy,
Our ever great Reward!
Our only glory may be it be
To glory in the Lord.

All praise to Thee, ascended Lord;
All glory ever be
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Through all eternity.



  1. John Carroll said,

    September 5, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    I agree that there are some fine contemporary songs, like the two you mentioned. However, in churches who use mostly contemporary those two are, from my observation, already in the oldies file. Shows how fast they come and go, which is one of the problems with contemporary Christian music.

    • cliftonr said,

      September 5, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      You are right, John. Those actually have “hymnal status.” Unless, you are in the PCUSA, of course.

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