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.
“Your will be done, on earth as in heaven,” Jesus taught us to pray. What might God’s will be in heaven? No more death or mourning, crying, or pain. No more hunger or sickness, no more hurting those we love. Certainly, we might dare to hope for such things in heaven, but to pray for such things on earth might be a stretch for us. And yet Jesus proclaims to us a vision of the kingdom of God that is meant to stretch our faith beyond the limits of our imagination. The wideness of God’s love and mercy are broader than the measures of our mind. Dare we hope in such a vision in this world in which we live? God’s Spirit calling through the gospel with forgiving love is in itself a sign of God’s kingdom come. In our longing, we cry out to God, “Abba! Father! Mother!” It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are indeed children of God.
Gracious God, in our longing for your will to be done on earth, open our ears and hearts to the wideness of your love and grace. Let us take you at your word that you are at work in our lives and in the world. Amen.