Over the past couple of years we have become rabid fans of Broken Bow Music, who has given us some wonderful new Christmas music that features a signature blend while sharing powerful messages. They have just released their rendition of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
This is a clear reference to God. Jesus is the Living Water through which all blessings flow. As water is essential to sustain physical life, the Savior and his teachings (living water) are essential for eternal life.
Robert Robinson, the 22-year old cleric who wrote this song, was looking for a sermon. This was here he started.
Streams of Mercy
This is another water reference, indicating that God’s love and mercy is never-ending. Isaiah 49:10 – “They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.”
Praise the Mount
This is a reference to the Sermon on the Mount, though have likened it to the Mount of Calvary, where Jesus was crucified.
The Sermon on the Mount is where the essence of the Gospel of Jesus is taught. In this sermon Christ gives the Beatitudes – defining what it means to be a disciple of Christ and how those who embrace them can positively affect the world.
As the scripture says, “…in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way…”
Here I Raise Mine Ebenezer
In Hebrew the word ebenezer means “stone of help.”
This raised stone was a reminder to the Israelites of what the Lord had done for them.
This Ebenezer quite literally was a monument set to remember the great help that God granted the one raising the stone.
O to Grace how great a debtor
Grace is perhaps one of the most misunderstood terms in the Bible. Some take “grace” to mean they can do nothing because Christ has done everything.
But that is not grace.
God is a keeper of law and there are laws of both justice and mercy.
In 1 Timothy 2:5 it reads: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
A mediator is not only one who saves and redeems, but one who balances things by covenant – meaning that one in debt will still need to change or provide recompense. This means living a life continually through the Gospel of Christ, to “always remember Him”.
Prone to Wander, Lord, I Feel It
This is a reference to human weakness and the Light of Christ.
In the sermon on the mount Christ challenged “be ye therefore perfect”. That’s not a command to be what we, as humans, cannot.
It is a charge to become “complete” (the word “perfect” translates more closely to “complete”).
We become complete by living the Gospel of Christ and making covenants with God. Each person is possessed with “the light of Christ” – a knowledge of right and wrong, moral sense, or conscience, and it can direct us to moderate our actions.
That’s easier said than done. Hence, we are “prone to wander”. This is, perhaps, the most relatable part of Robinson’s sermon in song. All of us fall short of what we hope in being true to God.
And yet God loves us anyway.
Thanksgiving is a time of acknowledging God. But just as importantly, it is an acknowledgement of the goodness of life and all the blessings we all receive from it.
Regardless of religious belief, gratitude is a universal virtue near all faiths – and faithlessness – embrace.
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing has been embraced as a hymn of Thanksgiving because it expresses, in very human terms, how blessed we are despite the imperfections we all possess.