There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy

This was written by Frederick William Faber in 1862.

The music below is a new tune by High Street Hymns.

(Try as I might I couldn’t find the actual name of the composer.)

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’s a welcome for the sinner and more graces for the good.

There is mercy with the Savior, there is healing in His blood.

There’s no place where earthen sorrow is felt more than in heaven.

There’s no place where earthly failings have forgiveness freely giv’n.

There is plentiful redemption in the blood that has been shed.

There is joy for all the members and the sorrows of a Head.

For the love of God is broader than the measure of our mind.

And the heart of the eternal is most wonderfully kind.

If our love were but more faithful we should take Him at His word.

And our lives would be thanksgiving for the goodness of the Lord…

For the goodness of the Lord.

The trouble with Santa

“You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout I’m telling you why, Santa Clause is coming to town. He’s making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out whose naughty and nice…He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”

Santa, the all-seeing god-like character we see so much of this time of year. Unfortunately some people get their view of God from Santa. He is a pale comparison. Here are some important differences.

We are told Santa keeps track and will only bring presents to the good. Contrast that to “…You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” God sending the gift of His son didn’t depend on us being good, but was sent because we were sinners. Good people don’t need a Savior. Sinners need a Savior.

Santa’s list keeping implies that he will not deliver gifts intended for us if we are naughty. Romans 11:29 tells us “the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” God’s gift of salvation isn’t taken back if we are unworthy. Truth be told we are all unworthy. Again, that was the point of God sending His son.

Santa shows love to those who show themselves to be good. God loves those who understand that it depends not on their own goodness, but on God’s grace. II Timothy 1:9 says “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,”

Santa visits one day a year…while we are sleeping, just long enough to leave a pile of presents.

Jesus came to be with us. His name Immanuel means “God with us.” The most important gift we can get is His presence, not his presents. Things get old and wear out. They lose their appeal, but the very real presence of God Himself is a gift beyond compare.

So what is our response? The wisemen had the right idea. They journeyed to a foreign country to find this king and when they found him…”They rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Upon meeting the child they “fell down and worshiped him.” They didn’t come expecting to receive, but to offer what they had. So we too can offer what we have. A heart yearning to know this God who stoops down to be with us.

Praying you each find the peace only God can give in this troubled world.