Hymns: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

21 Oct

At Church in the Bank we love to sing hymns. Hymns are a rich heritage of beautiful theological truth combined with moving and memorable melodies. I think we would miss a lot if we didn’t sing them, and if we didn’t take time to think about their words. So, let’s have a think about Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, a hymn written to the grace that we are given in Jesus. This is the first of three blog posts – one on each verse (that is commonly sung today – there are other verses that have dropped out of use).

Come Thou fount of every blessing

Tune my heart to sing thy grace

Streams of mercy, never ceasing

Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet

Sung by flaming tongues above

Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it

Mount of Thy unchanging love

This verse is a prayer of orientation (it reminds me of a similar song: Psalm 103). In living busy and stressful lives in a sinful and chaotic world our temptation is to forget our good God and his good salvation. But this song calls on God to refocus our minds and emotions towards him because of his graciousness to us.

Line one addresses God as the “fount of every blessing”, which is what he is: he blesses us abundantly both spiritually and physically (Eph 1:3; Matt 6:25-34). Because of this, line two asks that God would “tune” our hearts to sing his grace, that is, we ask God to reorient our minds and emotions to respond to his grace to us by singing praise. In lines seven and eight this request is answered as we praise God for his unchanging love, which is as sure and steady as a mountain.

Lines three and four give us the reason for the above request. Surely, the only appropriate response to God’s constant, abundant mercy to us is to sing songs of loudest praise. Perhaps we could take this logic more literally: Often our praise is not the “loudest”.

Lines five and six ask God to give us a song (a “melodious sonnet”) from heaven (where “flaming tongues” come from – see Acts 2) worthy to be sung in praise of our great Saviour Jesus Christ. Perhaps it might sound a little bit like these two songs from Revelation 5:12-13:

The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and blessing!

Blessing and honor and glory and dominion
to the One seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb, forever and ever!

This verse of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is a great way to start a song, or church, or your day, and, as we will see, the next two verses give us more and more reasons to praise God for his unchanging love to us because of Jesus.

Troy Munns

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is by Robert Robinson.

Public Domain. CCLI Licence #49503. Used by St George Nth with permission.

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