There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy, ELW 587
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.
In Jesus God fully knows what it is to be human. Jesus took on our humanity and promises that as Risen Lord he is the fulfillment of the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms. In him God fully welcomes the sinner. Grace and mercy abound for all who turn and repent. Just as was the experience of the prodigal son (Luke 15) all who are broken or straying are received back with a smothering hug, and ring and a party that is the envy of all. God’s welcoming mercy is able to push back against and push through our hypocrisy. The Law has been fulfilled and the legalists need to repent along with the rest of us. God longs for all to come and be welcomed. God loves us and is faithful to us. Through that abiding love we are loved back to life and set free to live lives of love directed towards others.
God your mercy is wide; your love is deep, and your grace is abundant. Carve away those things in us that seek to restrict your mercy, grace, and love. Amen.