“There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” ELW 588
1 There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in his 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 kindly judgment giv’n.
2 There is a welcome for the sinner, And a promised grace made good;
There is a 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.
3 For the love of God is broader Than the measures of our mind;
And the heart of the eternal Is most wonderfully kind.
There is plentiful redemption In the blood that has been shed;
There is joy for all the members In the sorrows of the head.
4 ‘Tis not all we owe to Jesus; It is something more than all:
Greater good because of evil, Larger mercy through the fall.
If our love were but more simple, We should take him at his word;
And our lives would be all sunshine In the sweetness of the Lord.
I never realized until lately that I used to enjoy grocery shopping. Now, during the pandemic, grocery shopping has truly become a chore. It’s hard to practice physical distance while wheeling my cart down the aisles. It’s hard to think that the Covid-19 virus might be swirling through the air while we buy the food we need. It’s hard that I can’t see people’s faces—and their smiles. We bought facemasks that have “choose kind” printed on them, in hopes that this would help.
I love how this hymn reminds me of kindness. The kindness in God’s justice—even God’s kindly judgement. There is always something to be mad or sad about, and I know I’m not the only one who can get grumpy about a myriad of things. I can still decide to “choose kind.” Because, after all, “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea.”
Great big God, remind me that you care about the little things, too. Thank you for your kindness—to me, to my neighbors, to all of creation, and to the “thousands of new worlds as great as this.” Amen.