There's a wideness in God's mercy,
like the wideness of the sea;
there's a kindness in God's justice
which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth's sorrows
are more felt than up in heav'n.
There is no place where earth's failings
have such kindly judgment giv'n.
There is welcome for the sinner,
and a promised grace made good;
there is mercy with the Savior;
there is healing in his blood.
There is grace enough for thousands
of new worlds as great as this;
there is room for fresh creations
in that upper home of bliss.
For the love of God is broader
than the measures of our mind;
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
But we make this love too narrow
by false limits of our own;
and we magnify its strictness
with a zeal God will not own.
'Tis not all we owe to Jesus;
it is something more than all:
greater good because of evil,
larger mercy through the fall.
Make our love, O God, more faithful;
let us take you at your word,
and our lives will be thanksgiving
for the goodness of the Lord.
The granting of mercy by God can be seen by some as a failure of justice. If God forgives everything then is their justice for the wrongdoer? If all is forgiven then where is the accountability?
The song reminds us that there is a kindness in God's justice. This does not mean that there is no justice, but that in the midst of justice there is kindness. Mercy does not negate the conviction of the sinner. The law always convicts and the law always reminds us of our failure to do what God asks of us. Yet we also know the law never gets the last word. Christ has the last word.
There is a kindness in God's justice. This kindness is shown in one giving himself for us. Christ is poured out for our sin. Justice is maintained and accountability is recognized. Sin is real, pain and death are real. But God's kindness intercedes for us bringing life when death should win. This is God's wide kindness and it serves as a
Kind and gracious God, you do not forget our sin or fail to account for it. But in your kindness and mercy you have chosen to give yourself for us. Help us to see in your justice a model for our care for one another. In Christ's name, amen.