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His Mercy Is More — Some Lyrics Last A Lifetime

Hymn Sunday is a collaboration with Getty Music, and in this post, my friend Keith shares why singing the Psalms is so very necessary for our hearts. You’ll also find a video of a favorite psalm along with downloadable sheet music.

You don’t usually want your child to stand in a chair, but this time, I didn’t really mind.

Each year, we travel with our daughters back to our homeland in Ireland. Their excitement is almost uncontainable. They love time with family and being near the beach in a familiar place. On this particular day, we were dining in a famous restaurant on the northern coast when their joy erupted in the most memorable way.

They stood in their chairs in the middle of the restaurant and began singing these lyrics at the top of their lungs:

What love could remember no wrongs we have done?
Omniscient, all knowing, He counts not their sum;
Thrown into a sea without bottom or shore,
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more!

It was quite the show, but apparently, not everyone enjoyed it as much as we did. One of the managers came over to our table and told us that if we couldn’t keep it down, we would have to leave. I turned to someone near us and said, “Well, that’s a first—kids being thrown out of a restaurant for singing hymns too loud!” He smiled and replied, “Yeah, and I think it’s also the first time anyone has ever sung the word “omniscient” in here.”

It was an experience that I will never forget… but more importantly, the truth in the song my girls were singing is something that I am hopeful they will never forget. The song they were belting in that restaurant is called “His Mercy Is More” by Matt Papa and Matt Boswell. It is a truly remarkable hymn that takes us through the gospel story in a unique way, reminding us over and over again of the immeasurable grace of God as each stanza is masterfully unfurled.

For most over the past three years, we have made a point of teaching our girls a hymn every month. We love this song so much that it was quickly added it to our family repertoire. It is a song that we want our girls to grow old with… because the depths of these lyrics will never grow old.

We may take in what we hear in sermons, but we take home what we sing. That is why we know it is imperative that our children sing the deepest truths of the gospel at a young age. These truths become a part of them… reminders they need not only for today but also for the days to come when they will no longer be living under our roofs.

Praise the Lord,
His mercy is more;
Stronger than darkness, new every morn,
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more!

Stronger than darkness. New every morn. We sometimes have the girls close their eyes and we ask them to think about what worries them the most in the darkness and unknown of the future. Whatever it may be, we remind them that God’s love is stronger than that… it is new every morning. We try to help them not only think thoughts about these things but also to consider how they feel in the morning when they hear Daddy downstairs and smell the fresh coffee brewing. In that moment as the sun yet again shines into their windows, they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can come running downstairs with excitement because the promised new day has come. The darkness is gone… it never wins.

These extraordinary lyrics joyfully infuse these very truths into the minds and hearts of those who sing them. It helps us understand what it actually means to be free and forgiven. Whether you sing it during a service or sing it as a response at the end, the message is clear and compelling. But my favorite rendition is still the live Irish version from the restaurant chairs.

We have taught this song to our girls because we not only want them to keep growing “in” their faith but also “into” their faith as they get older. We want them to remember with confidence who God is when they struggle with sin as teenagers and young adults. We want them to know that when they fall or even walk away—that the “Father, so tender, is calling us home…He welcomes the weakest, the vilest, the poor;” and though their sins may be many, His mercy is more.

The gospel is for the whole of life—and this is a gospel filled song we can sing for the rest of our lives. The weakest, the vilest, and the poor need not shy away from His grace, no matter what age they may be. No, they can stand tall—in chairs, if they like—and sing my favorite line from the song that truly says it all:

Thrown into a sea without bottom or shore,
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more!

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