The Worship Quote of the Week for (02/11/2003):

"God, Be Merciful to Me"
Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is a 19th-century hymn text by Richard Readhead. It is
a poetic paraphrase of David’s confession in Psalm 51, and beautifully and
powerfully expresses both the seriousness of our sin against God and the
abundance of his grace and mercy.


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 Saviour 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 judgment 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.

— Richard Readhead (1820-1901), as collected in the RUF HYMNBOOK and recorded
on PILGRIM DAYS: INDELIBLE GRACE II. This text, with music by Chris Minor, 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, Anne
Steele, and other poets and 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