O God of Mercy, God of Light (ELW 714)
1 O God of mercy, God of light,
in love and mercy infinite,
teach us, as ever in your sight
to live our lives in you.
2 You sent your Son to die for all,
that our lost world might hear your call;
oh, hear us lest we stray and fall!
We rest our hope in you.
3 Teach us the lesson Jesus taught:
to feel for those his blood has bought,
that ev’ry deed and word and thought
may work a work for you.
4 For all are kindred, far and wide,
since Jesus Christ for all has died;
grant us the will, and grace provide,
to love them all in you.
5 In sickness, sorrow, want or care,
may we each other’s burdens share;
may we, where help is needed, there
give help as though to you.
6 And may your Holy Spirit move
all those who live to live in love,
till you receive in heav’n above
all those who live in you.
This hymn was written by an English pastor named Geoffrey Thring (1823-1903), who wrote over seventy-five hymns, twenty-five of which are still used in congregations in the U.S. and Great Britain. Other of his works included in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) include “Crown Him with Many Crowns” (855) and “Lord, Dismiss Us with Your Blessing” (545).
An established poet in his time, Thring ably connects themes of the Christian faith: Jesus’ teaching of love and care for others, the call to live in fellowship and ministry in Christ, and the Holy Spirit’s work in guiding us through lives that lead to eternity with God.
This hymn serves as a rich resource for prayer and song, and as we sing it we are blessed with a timeless and all-encompassing encounter with the Christian faith. The final phrases at the end of the stanzas—live in you, hope in you, work for you, help through you, and love all through you—combine to speak God’s call to us today.
Good and gracious God, we give thanks to you for all who help us to know you, to love you, and to follow you. In word and song and works of love we see your invitation to live in you and realize the peace that passes all understanding. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen