When I first trusted in Christ as my Savior the summer before my senior year in high school, I didn't have a firm grasp on why I needed a Savior. It was more like it seemed like a great idea, and why not? Don't get me wrong, I am forever grateful for the events and people that God used to bring me to faith in Him. I also don't doubt that that moment was a turning point in my life. But I also wonder if I had had a better understanding of my sin and dire need for a Savior, would I have had some of the bumps in my faith that I did during those early years? If we see ourselves as basically okay, how dependent are we going to be upon Him in our Christian walk? I think this is even a danger for more mature Christians. We can get so comfortable in living a certain way (that seems so much better than other people) that we forget we are sinners and that apart from His grace we can do nothing that is good. That's why we need to sing hymns like God, Be Merciful to Me. Let us never forget that we are broken, and our guilt can only be removed through His grace.
When I started this series, I didn't think I would use videos for as many of the hymns as I have, but I've become kind of addicted to them. I am amazed at how many gifted people there are out there who love hymns. So the few times when I did have trouble finding a video it became frustrating. And that's what happened for this hymn.
First of all, most people know the hymn only as the Indelible Grace/Jars of Clay version, which I love too. But I wanted to use the original tune for this post because it's equally beautiful. When it became clear that wasn't going to happen, I decided I was okay with the Indelible Grace version. I bought the Pilgrim Days album years and years ago and it remains a favorite.
But then I could only find video with Jars of Clay singing. I love Jars of Clay and have fond memories of Marc taking me to one of their concerts when I was nine months pregnant with Anna. I was only 25, but it looked like we were at least 10 years older than anyone there, except maybe the occasional youth group leader. Ah, memories!
Alas, I finally found a way to embed the Indelible Grace version, which is the same as the Jars of Clay, except it's Laura Wall singing, not Jars of Clay. But then I couldn't get the embed "thingie" to work right, and after a million tries I finally discovered that it won't show up until the post is published. You'd think they might have mentioned that somewhere in the dozens of tutorials I read prior to the one that actually did mention it! Remember when I tried to convince you I wasn't stuck in the Victorian era? Maybe I should be. Technology and I don't get along very well.
So now that my little rant is over, please go back to the top of this post and reread about my sinfulness and need for a Savior, and then listen to this beautiful hymn and meditate on His grace and mercy. ; )
And don't forget tomorrow is the day to share your favorite hymn or hymns! Day 31, here we come!
God, Be Merciful to Me
From Psalm 51:1-15
The Psalter, 1912
God, be merciful to me,
On thy grace I rest my plea;
Plenteous in compassion thou,
Blot out my transgressions now;
Wash me, make me pure within,
Cleanse, O cleanse me from my sin.
My transgressions I confess,
Grief and guilt my soul oppress;
I have sinned against thy grace
And provoked thee to thy face;
I confess thy judgement just,
Speechless, I thy mercy trust.
I am evil, born in sin;
Thou desirest truth within.
Thou alone my Savior art,
Teach thy wisdom to my heart;
Make me pure, thy grace bestow,
Wash me whiter than the snow.
Broken, humbled to the dust
By thy wrath and judgement just,
Let my contrite heart rejoice
And in gladness hear thy voice;
From my sins O hide thy face,
Blot them out in boundless grace.
Gracious God, my heart renew,
Make my spirit right and true;
Cast me not away from thee,
Let thy Spirit dwell in me;
Thy salvation's joy impart,
Steadfast make my willing heart.
Sinners then shall learn from me
And return, O God to thee;
Savior, all my guilt remove,
And my tongue shall sing thy love;
Touch my silent lips, O Lord,
And my mouth shall praise accord.