Romans 11

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruitů I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in Me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned." (John 15:1-2,5-6)

Mercy's Mystery

Surely the Lord does not disown
The peoples whose hearts have hardened:
To a remnant, His mercy's shown;
And by grace, their sins are pardoned.

In sleep, the hardened hearts remain;
Unable to perceive Him near.
Left to themselves, they've made their bane
In lives wanton with angst and fear.

From Israel, root of Jesse,
Those called to Christ are grafted on
The tree of life, in place of these,
Whose hearts were pruned by grace withdrawn.

For the Father will graft and prune
The tree of life as He sees best;
No soul alive remains immune -
Faith must bear fruit to remain blessed.

For God had all hearts set in sin,
That He might have mercy on all.
How great His mind! Who could begin
To know His depths? His works enthrall!

From Him and through Him are all things;
All glory to Him, King of kings!

May the mystery of God's great mercy hearten our hope with the conviction that the Father wills all peoples to come to the knowledge and desire of salvation.

(c) Paul Buis, 2005