The Worship Quote of the Week for (10/15/2002):

"Thy Mercy, My God Is the Theme of My Song"
Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is an 18th century hymn text by John Stocker. Notice
how this anthem to the goodness and mercy of God through Christ contains so
many of the necessary gestures of Christian worship—adoration of our triune
God, confession of our sinful condition, assurance of God’s forgiveness
through Christ, and a strong sense of reverence and delight in God’s abundant
grace and mercy.


Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue.
Thy free grace alone from the first to the last
Hath won my affection and bound my soul fast.

Without thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But through thy free goodness my spirits revive
And he that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by they goodness I fall to the ground
And weep for the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

Great Father of Mercies, thy goodness I own
And the covenant love of thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.

— John Stocker (18th century), as collected in the RUF HYMNBOOK and recorded
on PILGRIM DAYS: INDELIBLE GRACE II. This text, with music by Sandra
McCracken, is one of my favorite songs on a new recording by Indelible Grace,
a music project out of the Reformed University Fellowship at Belmont
University ( and the college ministry of Christ Community Church
in Franklin, Tennessee. Rev. Kevin Twit directs this project which now has
two CDs (PILGRIM DAYS and INDELIBLE GRACE), both available at

[If you enjoy acoustic music with a folk and Celtic flavor, and if you
appreciate the texts of Watts, Wesley, Newton, Cowper, Toplady, Gadsby, and
other poet-pastors of centuries past, I strongly suggest that you get a copy
of these recordings and/or the RUF HYMNBOOK. You won’t be sorry. Kevin Twit
and company describe their music as ancient and indigenous. I like that. Does
this sound like a commercial?]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky