The Love of God is broader than the measures of man’s mind.

Hello everyone!  On Wednesday I led the service at the MHA
Home Berwick Grange and this time they listened even though most of them are
far away.  They do respond to hymns they
know, often recognising them and the Lord’s Prayer.  I walk around as I sing, read the Bible
reading and do the talk to keep their attention.  I try to bring pictures to illustrate the
story for them too.  I was talking about
when Elijah was taken to heaven in the chariot of fire and how Elisha was
loathe to let him go; it is often difficult to let those we love move on, and
Elisha certainly felt bereft.  What
encouraged me was how God was ready to welcome Elijah as God is never
disappointed in us; after all Elijah had let God down by running away,
depressed and afraid, but God had encouraged him and given him a helper and
successor in Elisha. I am glad that he does accept us as we are warts and
all.  This hymn from which I will quote
some verses describes God’s mercy more clearly than I can:

 

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 is plentiful
redemption

In the blood that has
been shed;

There is joy for all
the members

In the sorrows of the Head.

 

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
man’s mind;

And the heart of the
Eternal

Is most wonderfully
kind.

 

But we make his love
too narrow

By false limits of our
own;

And we magnify his
strictness

With a zeal he will not
own.

 

If our love were but
more simple

We would take him at
his word;

And our lives would be
illumined

By the presence of our
Lord.

 

My favourite verses are
the final three verses, as they show us again that love of God, which Jesus
showed when he lived and ministered to the outsiders.  Our minister Shaun shared an experience he
had had recently, when he took friends visiting from New Zealand to Bowness on
Lake Windermere.  To complete the
visitors’ authentic experience of this country Shaun bought them fish and chips
to eat by the Lake.  As they looked for
somewhere to sit down, they noticed one bench which was empty, and were at
first puzzled as other seats were full, wondering what was wrong with the
seat.  Then he noticed there were two gentlemen
of the road on the bench next to it, who were worse for wear because of drink,
so people had been avoiding it. They decided to sit there and listen as one man
loudly told them of his life, including that he had been a soldier.  The child of the family with Shaun could not
manage the all the fish and chips and threw a chip down and suddenly Shaun said
that it was like a scene from the film ‘The Birds’, as birds appeared from all
over pecking at them.  The loud drunkard
on the seat got straight up and said what a pest the birds were and chased them
away.  As they left Shaun shook them by
the hand and thanked them for their help; he hoped that their refusal to be put
off by them might reach them even in their inebriation. We have to be like
Jesus in our acceptance of those who are misfits.  Let us be like Jesus.  This is the day that the Lord has made and I
rejoice and am glad in it.

 

 

 

 

 

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