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.
These beautiful words from the beloved hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” illustrate a paradox of Christian life: freedom through service. Can you hear, despite the archaic wording, the description of faith as imprisonment? But like the Apostle Paul, the hymnist doesn’t envision being chained to God as a problem but a solution. How else will goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our life (Psalm 23:6) unless we stay bound to God?
Our vows at baptism, confirmation, and church membership are the ties that bind us to God and his people. As we prepare for this Sunday’s Commitment service, prayerfully considering how to serve, I hope you hear these grace-filled words of encouragement to see, not chains of iron, but bonds of God’s goodness. May we always recognize the debt we owe is no heavy burden, but only to the grace of Jesus Christ.
Image: A fountain in the courtyard outside St Paul’s United Methodist Church, Houston, Texas USA. Photograph taken by Joshua W. Hale, 2 May 2013. Available on Flickr under a Creative Commons license.