Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?
(Depth of Mercy, Charles Wesley, 1740)
the opening stanza of a hymn written by Charles Wesley, who wrote over 6,000
hymns in his lifetime. I was immediately grabbed by the strong emotions in this
hymn. It lends voice to feelings we have all experienced before – in
moments when we do not dare to lift our head up before God, when we know we do
not deserve to ask for anything, when we are unsure if He can forgive us this
questions in the lyrics are posed by one who does not dare presume that there
is grace left for him. It can be easy to imagine mercy reserved for others more
faithful, patient, and loving – but not for us, the worst of sinners.
an overwhelming joy it is to know that He came for the weak, weary, and broken.
The healthy have no need of a doctor. Instead, He came for us – the most
stubborn, the one with the worst temper, the ones who have failed time and time
again. What a blessing it is that “He has not dealt with us according to our
sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities” (Ps 103:10)!
have a Savior who is faithful to forgive our sins, it is important for us to
understand how sinful we are and how great is our debt to God. Even though we
do not the pay the full price for our sin, someone else did – and still
we realize how much God has borne for us, the deeper
of an impression God’s forgiveness will leave on us. This is
illustrated in a story told by Jesus of a creditor who was owed 500 denarii by
one debtor and 50 denarii by another. Neither had money for repayment,
yet both were forgiven.
asked Simon, “Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon
answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to
him, “You have rightly judged” (Lk 7:42b-43).
Questions for Reflection
you the debtor that owes 500 denarii or 50 denarii?
will you love Him more and show your gratitude for the depths of His mercy?