Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing Text: Robert Robinson, 1735-1790 Music: Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second Public Domain
1. 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 redeeming love.
2. Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.
3. O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.
IN- Let Thy goodness, like a fetter
OUT- Bind my wandering heart to Thee
For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. – Eph. 3:14-15
Blessing begins with reverence
A reverence for our Wondrous God
Who bends low to welcome us
Birthing us through water and Spirit
Naming us and claiming us
beloved and blessed
Who not only welcomes us but welcomes all
Knitting us together
in the Body Miraculous
Strangers becoming brothers and sisters
A family far beyond class, clan, or culture
Far beyond what we could ask or imagine
I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. – Eph. 3:16-17
From an incalculable treasure of grace upon grace
God pours out strength
Not as the world gives
Not with obvious outward displays
But hidden in the very depths of our frailty
God pours and floods with blood and breath
The very power of life
Driven and danced by Holy Spirit
That we may find our true home in Christ
Our true self in Christ
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, May have power, together with all the saints, To grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, And to know this love that surpasses knowledge— That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. – Eph. 3:17-19
This indescribable, priceless love of Christ
This is the blessing
Infinitely wide and long and high
Poured forth and driven deep
All the way down to the roots- our vines anchored in God’s grace
Rooted and Established- tilled till all the wild branches embrace
and the sweet fruit overflows the cups of justice and joy
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, According to his power that is at work within us, To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus Throughout all generations, forever and ever! – Eph 3:20-21
Glory be to the Blessed One
Opening our lips in blessing
With power to make new
Glory be to the Blessed One
Opening our hands in blessing
With power to make whole
Glory be to the Blessed One
Opening our hearts in blessing
That the grace poured in by Christ
Generation to generation to generation
An endless procession
To all, in all, and through all
This prayer was inspired by by the Ephesians Reading Challenge. Click Here for more information on the challenge to read and reflect on the entire book of Ephesians 3 times in 3 weeks.
The Ephesians Reading Challenge accompanied a sermon series entitled Sit Walk Stand which was inspired by Watchman Nee‘s bookSit Walk Stand, a study of Ephesians. You will find recordings and notes from this series on the blog as well.
The Wedding Vows
I, _________________, give myself to you to be your husband/wife to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others until we are parted by death, recognizing the promise of life everlasting and love everlasting. This is my solemn vow.
The Church as Bride of Christ: Problems with metaphor
Difficult for those who’ve been disappointed by marriage – Never married, divorced, betrayal, abusive marriage
Difficult for men to relate to “bride”
The phrase “Bride of Christ” not found in the scriptures but there are plenty of passages which use the metaphor
All metaphors break down. Bride of Christ remains a powerful reminder of our relationship to one another and to Christ
Read Ephesians 5:21-32 NRSV
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Be subject = Voluntary, free choice, submission, our power under the authority of another, cooperating, collaborating
Ephesians 5-6 describes the mutual submission of husbands and wives, children and parents, slaves and masters
Previous verses discuss being filled with the Holy Spirit by singing Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs & giving thanks to God the Father in name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Trinity, the fullness of God, First Creed)
Out of Reverence to Christ- We submit to Christ as His followers out of reverence for Christ first submitting to us. Jesus made the ultimate submission in his life, death, and resurrection.
Notice verses 22-27
The Love of our Lord Jesus Christ is deep, pure, sacrificial
Look what Jesus gave up to make us his own. Compare with Philippians 2. Poor, homeless, misunderstood, glory to humility, abused and tortured, obedient to the point of death, even on a cross
Jesus making us his own- making us holy, set apart, like in marriage the couple is set apart only for each other
Vs. 26 Cleansing with the washing of water by the word
The powerful presence of Jesus in the sacrament of baptism and in his Holy Word- Cleansing, new birth, water for growth, Jesus’ tears, Jesus washing feet
Vs. 27 Jesus presents the church to himself in splendor radiant
Remember, you are both beloved and the light of the world. Jesus, the Bridegroom, presents us like a Bride unstained, unwrinkled, unblemished, innocent which literally means unwounded. By his stripes, we are healed. He took the wounds that we might be unwounded.
28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church.
We leave our earthly labels and tribes to be at one with Christ
This isn’t head knowledge, it’s down to the bone, the blood, skin in the game, an intimate union
This is a relationship of devotion, fidelity, one spouse, one Lord. Jesus first loved us that he may be our first love
Let us, the Church, the Bride, recommit to Christ the Bridegroom, using the Wedding Vows
We give ourselves to you Jesus, to be your Bride, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, knowing we are not parted by death, recognizing the promise of life everlasting and love everlasting. This is our solemn vow.
I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Sean and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9:00 am or 10:30 am, or join us live on our Facebook page at 9:00 am Sundays or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.