Monday, May 08, 2006

"Oh, The Mercy of God" and Geoff Bullock

At a wedding last weekend, this song made a grown man cry (I envisioned a waltz in 3/4 time but that is another story):

Oh, The Mercy of God
Oh, the mercy of God, the glory of grace,
That You chose to redeem us, to forgive and restore,
And You call us Your children, chosen in Him
To be holy and blameless to the glory of God.

To the praise of His glorious grace,
To the praise of His glory and power;
To Him be all glory, honour and praise
Forever and ever and ever, amen.

Oh, the richness of grace, the depths of His love,
In Him is redemption, the forgiveness of sin.
You called us as righteous, predestined in Him
For the praise of His glory, included in Christ.

Oh, the glory of God expressed in His Son,
His image and likeness revealed to us all;
The plea of the ages completed in Christ,
That we be presented perfected in Him.

Geoff Bullock
Copyright © 1997 Watershed Productions/Kingsway's Thankyou Music

Before Darlene Zschech, there was Geoff Bullock. Geoff Bullock was a founding member of the church now known as Hillsongs and the author of many of their earlier songs. After his ousting from that church, the breakdown of his marriage and his involvement with a married woman, Geoff Bullock's new awareness of the sinfulness of man and in contrast, the wonder of God's grace has led to the re-writing of the lyrics to many of his songs:
The main reason for the rewrites is to simply take the focus from "what we do for God" to give us a sense of spiritual affirmation and placing it firmly on "what God has done and is doing for us". I am convinced that what I think, do or say about God will always prove my inability to be anything else but grace dependant. However, what God "thinks, does and says" about me is a miracle that can never be fully grasped. It is simply too wonderful. How could we ask this of the Creator of the universe. Thinking about it just spins me out. God.. do we really understand the enormity of those three letters…. God reduces himself to humanity so we can know and say:

"You have walked my path,
You have run my race
So I may never be the same again."

I just cannot say or sing it the other way anymore. I am totally stuffed if I do the walking and running. There's nothing to celebrate about my actions… but, what God does… can't stop celebrating.. just blows me away, and I have to ask myself whether we really understand it at all!!!
I didn't fall from grace, he says, I fell into it.

The index of Geoff Bullock's rewrites, includes ARPC favourites like "You Rescued Me", "The Power of Your Love", "This Kingdom". In his attempt to correct the false gospel of success and power and glitz and glamour, I'm not entirely sure there has been an adequate demonstration of a biblical understanding of the purpose and scope of God's grace and mercy and the place of his righteousness, majesty and power. But we can pray that, like all Christians, he will grow in his understanding of the God he so loves and depends on.

Geoff Bullock's new songs can be downloaded here.

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