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Grace and Mercy

I have a Sunday off this week then two weeks of relatively normal services, then an outreach event, and then a clear enough run for a couple of short series interrupted by a couple of joint services and such like before my summer hols (three weeks far away from church....).

I have been 'haunted,' in a good way, by the song 'Pretty Amazing Grace' and was very struck by watching the Radio concert with Neil Diamond via some 'press the red button now' thing on my freeview box.  During the course of said concert, he clearly attribute his singing ability to God's gifting (that's used correctly as verb by the way, in case anyone is checking).  I have also been been contemplating quite a lot how whenever the word 'justice' or 'judgement' pops up in the Bible the word 'mercy' is never far away.  Somewhere out of this has emerged the idea to explore these themes a little more in the next couple of services, one on grace, the other on mercy.

My big challenge is picking passages to preach on, and the lectionary is not proving too helpful (though grace does get a brief mention the first week in the Epistle).  Anyone out there got any thoughts?

Flipping through BPWs 'God's grace' section I came across a rather dated children's hymn which seems to have something useful to say about these two themes...

You can't stop God from loving you

Though you may disobey him;

You can't stop God from loving you

However you betray him;

From love like this no power on earth

The human heart can sever;

You can't stop God from loving you,

Not God, not now, nor ever.

final verse of You can't stop rain from falling down, John Gowans (c) Salvationist Publishing Supplies Ltd


Coupled with the likes of 'There's a wideness in God's mercy' and 'By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered' I am anticipating a couple of weeks of singing some good theology, however simply expressed.


  • I really like the idea of a sermon series on Grace [am seriously tempted to play hookey from KMFC one sunday! especially if you are singing Bonhoeffer's hymn]
    Have you considered some OT passages [Hosea, Mephibosheth] and re hymns, what about these Golden Oldies-
    Jesus the Name high over all
    All hail the Power of Jesus' Name
    Oh the love that drew salvation's plan

  • ooh, you should sing Nick Cave's "The Mercy Seat".

    You might have to change some of the lyrics, and explain how some of it is ironic, but some of it's straightforward, eg

    "I hear stories from the chamber
    How Christ was born into a manger
    And like some ragged stranger
    Died upon the cross
    And might I say it seems so fitting in its way
    He was a carpenter by trade
    Or at least that's what I'm told"

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