“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (ELW 807)
1 Come, thou Fount of ev’ry blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
While the hope of endless glory
fills my heart with joy and love,
teach me ever to adore thee;
may I still they goodness prove.
2 Here I raise my Ebenezer,
“Hither by thy help I’ve come”;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wand’ring from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.
3 Oh, to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be;
let that grace now like a fetter
bind my wand’ring heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it;
seal it for thy courts above.
This hymn’s opening phrase, describing God as the “fount of every blessing,” certainly recalls the affirmation of the Epistle of James that God is the “giver of every perfect gift.” Lest our imaginations fail to grasp the full measure of that description, the first verse goes on to speak of God’s grace and mercy and a hope of endless glory that has the power to fill our hearts with joy and love. The gospel for this week reminded us of the risks of relying on externals rather than on matters of the heart as the signs of a true response to God’s grace. Four times this hymn also raises the matter of our hearts and of our true response to God’s gifts of mercy. We identify with its confession that our hearts are prone to wander from God’s love, that we need the transforming power of God’s love in Jesus to rescue us, and we echo its prayer that God will “take and seal” our hearts, and bind us to Godself in love.
God of every blessing, I am so prone to forget your many gifts of grace and to wander from the reaches of your mercy; continue to seek me out and bind my heart to you through your precious love for me in Christ Jesus. Amen.