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Your Mercy and Your Justice

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

God’s grace grants our baptism, and gives us our identity and our calling; however, it is up to us, with a renewed spirit, to respond to his call. We understand that just as “God reminds and assures us of our union with Christ in covenant love,” he also is “expecting our love and trust in return” (Our World Belong to God, paragraph 37). 


“We hear the Spirit’s call to love one another…to accept one another and to share at every level…and so fulfill the love of Christ” (Song of Hope, stanza 12). As washed and sanctified people, God’s children are called to “more and more [we] become dead to sin and live holy and blameless lives,” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26, Question and Answer 70) and this means “the dying away of the old-self, and the rising-to-life of the new” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 88). And so, as part of our baptism, God’s children are called to offer their lives to Christ. 


Your Mercy and Your Justice

Words of Praise

What is the aim of the ninth commandment?
That I never give false testimony
against anyone, twist no one’s words,
not gossip or slander,
nor join in condemning
anyone rashly
or without a hearing.
I will sing of your love and justice;
to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life —
when will you come to me?
I will conduct the affairs of my house
with a blameless heart.
I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do;
I will have no part in it.
The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with
what is evil.
Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes
and a proud heart,
I will not tolerate.
My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
the one whose walk is blameless
will minister to me.
No one who practices deceit
will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
will stand in my presence.
Every morning I will put to silence
all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer
from the city of the Lord.
What is the aim of the ninth commandment?
That I should love the truth, speak it
candidly, and openly acknowledge it.
And I should do what I can to guard
and advance my neighbor’s good name.
Text: adapt from Heidelberg Catehicsm Q&A 112; Psalm 101
— Lift Up Your Hearts (

Additional Prayers

God of love and justice, help us to live with integrity.
When tempted to boast or slander, tune our hearts and voices to sing your praise.
Guide us by your Spirit so that we may grow in grace
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and evermore. Amen.
— Psalms for All Seasons (

A Prayer of Acclamation
God of the prophets, you love mercy and justice. You love them both, even when they seem in tension. You showed that you love them both in the life and death of your beloved Son, who was obedient to law, who suffered the penalty we deserved, and thus won mercy for us sinners. So your mercy and your justice have become our song through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Your Mercy and Your Justice

Tune Information

ST. THEODULPH (fragment)
B♭ Major

Your Mercy and Your Justice

Hymn Story/Background

This song is a refrain excerpt from the well-known hymn tune ST. THEODULPH that is associated with the familiar Palm Sunday text “All Glory, Laud, and Honor.” Martin Tel selected this tune for setting the two lines of text that serve as a sung refrain to the responsive reading of Q&A 112 from the Heidelberg Catechism that frames the reading of Psalm 101.
Now often named ST. THEODULPH because of its association with this text, the tune is also known, especially in organ literature, as VALET WILL ICH DlR GEBEN. It was com­posed by Melchior Teschner for 'Valet will ich dir geben," Valerius Herberger's hymn for the dying. Teschner composed the tune in two five-voice settings, published in the leaflet Ein andächtiges Gebet in 1615.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Martin Tel is the C. F. Seabrook Director of Music at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. He conducts the seminary choirs, teaches courses in church music, and administers the music for the daily seminary worship services. He served as senior editor of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship (2012). His love for music began in a dairy barn in rural Washington State, where he heard his father belt out psalms and hymns while milking the cows. Martin earned degrees in church music and theology from Dordt College, the University of Notre Dame, Calvin Theological Seminary, and the University of Kansas. He has served as minister of music in Christian Reformed, Reformed Church in America, and Presbyterian congregations. With his wife, Sharilyn, he is raising three children in Princeton.
— Lift Up Your Hearts (

Composer Information

Melchior Teschner (b. Fraustadt [now Wschowa, Poland], Silesia, 1584; d. Oberpritschen, near Fraustadt, 1635) studied philosophy, theology, and music at the University of Frankfurt an-der-Oder and later studied at the universities of Helmstedt and Wittenberg, Germany. From 1609 until 1614 he served as cantor in the Lutheran church in Fraustadt, and from 1614 until his death he was pastor of the church in Oberpritschen.
— Bert Polman
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