Summary: This is a Hymnology Sermon Series teaching the stories behind some of the most beloved hymns found in our hymnals.
(Facts compiled from “52 Hymn Stories Dramatized,” and “Living Stories of Famous Hymns,” as well as extensive internet search. Two people speak back and forth to present this sermon. Video used in this sermon can be purchased at bluefishtv.)
Proverbs 10:22 22 The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
We are continuing our February sermon series called “Hymnology 101.” We are spending this entire month looking at some of the most famous hymns that we so often take for granted. Every song in our hymnal has a history, every song has a profound story behind it, and every song is rich with God’s love and inspiration. As we learn the history behind these songs, it is our hope… that we look to every song we sing… with more dedication, more understanding, and more focus on worshiping our God.
We are featuring today a praise song that many of you will instantly recognize. It is a song that recognizes God’s abundant grace and his eternal love for us all. The story of its author is not unique, however… it is a story that is slightly surprising coming from someone who penned the words “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”
Josh: “Give her some more liquor, boys,” the young man said. The poor gipsy woman was already so drunk she could hardly stand on her feet. But the wild and reckless young men were determined to get her even more drunk.
Pastor: “Pour it into her, and we’ll get her to tell our fortunes,” seventeen-year-old Robert Robinson shouted. The others plied her with more intoxicants until she agreed to predict their futures for nothing.
Josh: “She doesn’t know what she’s saying; she’s drunk,” one of the rowdier ones shouted, after she had prophesied that evil fortune awaited him. “You ought to know,” Robinson replied. “You’re the one who poured it into her mouth!”
Pastor: Turning to the self-appointed leader, the bleary-eyed gipsy pointed a quivering finger to Robinson and said, “And you, young man, you will live to see your children and your grandchildren.” Robinson suddenly grew pale and said, “You’re right. She’s too drunk to know what she’s saying. Leave her alone. Let’s go.”
Josh: But her words haunted him the rest of the day. “If I’m going to live to see my children and grandchildren,” he thought,” I’ll have to change my way of living. I can’t keep on doing what I’m doing now.”
Pastor: That very night, half in fun and half in curiosity, he took his gang to a church service nearby where the famous evangelist, George Whitfield, was preaching. “We’ll go down and laugh at the poor deluded Methodists,” he explained.
Josh: But the spirit of God was already at work in the troubled heart and confused mind of the wayward youth. That night Whitfield preached from Matthew 3:7, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” The message sobered and frightened Robinson at the same time. He felt that the preacher was speaking to him and only to him.