God Pause for Sunday, 10/26/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Sunday, 10/26/2014 Hymn: "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy," ELW 588

There's a wideness in God's mercy,
like the wideness of the sea; there's a kindness in God's 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 such kindly judgment giv'n.

There is welcome for the sinner, and a promised grace made good; there is 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.

For the love of God is broader than the measures of our mind; and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind. But we make this love too narrow by false limits of our own; and we magnify its strictness with a zeal God will not own.

'Tis not all we owe to Jesus; it is something more than all: greater good because of evil, larger mercy through the fall. Make our love, O God, more faithful; let us take you at your word, and our lives will be thanksgiving for the goodness of the Lord.>

"Ahhhh!" She gave a long exhale and exclaimed, "Wide open space!" We were driving west from Winnipeg on the tabletop-flat lakebed of ancient Lake Agassiz. Our daughter, having flown in from her New England home, was back on the Canadian prairie she had known as a girl--and she could breathe, freely.

That sea--Lake Agassiz--is no more. But there's a wideness there, like the wideness in God's mercy.

Our human attributes for God tend to be those of power and might, wisdom and strength and the like. True enough, but we may forget mercy, which can be greater than all of the above. While power and might can destroy, mercy recovers, refreshes, redeems, restores, renews. We may be so fearful of mercy, lest it be exploited, that "we make this love too narrow by false limits of our own; and we magnify its strictness with a zeal God will not own."

There's a wideness there, more than we can see, and with it we can breathe, freely.

In the wideness of your mercy, O God, envelope us in your forgiving love that we may forgive others in the name of Jesus. Amen.>

Lanny Knutson Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Master of Divinity, 1969

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