Sometimes, coming back to a song you love feels like going home. And…sometimes, it is.
I grew up singing the hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”. And this Sunday, we come back to that beautiful prayer as we study the prophet Samuel setting up a stone he calls “ebenezer”. It sounds like a weird word, and it is, because it comes from the Hebrew and was originally two words. But in English, it sounds like some old man’s name.
[Sidenote: Actually, it was. One of my ancestors was named “Ebenezer”. Ebenezer Ward fought in the Civil War with a Black regiment after living and sharing the gospel in their communities.]
So for me, singing this song not only feels like coming home to my childhood, but it also our eternal home. The word “come” is what we see in scripture as the word “maranatha” or “come quickly, Lord Jesus”. Early Christians who were persecuted for the faith would whisper this word to each other when they met because they were looking forward to the coming of Christ.
Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace
I also love the second line. “Tune my heart to sing thy grace”. When my guitar is just slightly out of tune, everything is sour. Multiple times, we’ve finished a music practice and someone will say, “We really need to tune!”. And our lives are like that too. The difference is, we need God himself to tune us back to his perfect pitch. God, tune our hearts…
Then in in verse two, we hit that funny, old-man-name word, “ebenezer”. The cool part of the song is that it interprets the meaning of the word in the second line…
Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I’m come
God has brought us this far in life…and it’s only by his grace. That is what “ebenezer” means. Do you have an “ebenezer” in your life? Something…anything, that reminds you of God’s faithfulness…do you have an “ebenezer”? Because that is one of the answers to the tendency of our heart to wander. As the song says…
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love
That is the tendency of every sinful heart. We are prone to wander. And Lord, I feel it. Don’t you? But the “maranatha” end of the song points us to heaven
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.
God, the author and finisher of our faith, is preparing us for his heavenly courts above. All we can offer, in faith, is our heart, trusting that he will bring us home.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.