#Mercy & Grace · Amy Grant · Bible Study · Church of England · Churches Together in Britain · Growing in God · Lent · Prayer

Mercy & Grace – Day 4

Mercy & Grace – 40 Days with the Music of Amy Grant

Day 4 – Saturday after Ash Wednesday

These Reflections which take the music of Amy Grant as their theme, were originally published in Lent 2015.  They are being republished during June and July 2020 as a way of deepening our faith during the Covid19 pandemic which is affecting the whole world
(Please pray for Amy as she in convalescence after open heart surgery over Easter.)

psalms-119-105

To Read:

From the Scriptures:                                 See below 😎

From Amy Grant:                                         Thy Word 

(Psalm 119:105)

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path

When I feel afraid, think I’ve lost my way
Still You’re there right beside me
Nothing will I fear as long as you are near
Please be near me to the end

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet…

I will not forget your love for me and yet
my heart forever is wandering
Jesus be my guide, hold me to Your side
And I will love You to the end

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet…

Nothing will I fear as long as you are near
Please be near me to the end

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet…

And a light unto my path
You’re the light unto my path

 

To Listen:

To Reflect:

Throughout her career one of the hallmarks of Amy Grant’s music has been the effort she puts into the production of her songs and the polishing of her performance. Sometimes, though, the best music is played ‘unplugged’.

The music video for today’s song is a good example. Listen to her live ‘unplugged’ performance in the link above and feel the intimacy she puts into her words – you will find she does this again and again as we continue this journey of ‘Mercy and Grace’ with her.

What becomes clear to me from the beginning of this song, and in the way Amy plays this version, is that she is not (as some may think) singing about the Bible, even if she is using the words of the Bible to tell her story.  She sings of the One to whom she wants to be closest – Jesus her gentle guide along the journey.  The words of the Bible provide the light but Jesus is the path.

School BibleOn occasion I am deliberately provocative and proclaim from the pulpit that ‘The Bible is not the whole word of God’.  However, I also follow up quickly by reminding my listeners that The Word is found not on the pages of a manuscript but in the life of a Person.  The Word of God is Jesus the Christ; and the Bible is but a light and, due to the frailty of those who wrote the words, sometimes a dim light which points the way towards Him.

With a little reflection this provocativeness of mine can be seen as truth.  After all if the words of the Bible were the inerrant words of God Jesus would have obeyed them to the letter, wouldn’t He?.  So, presented with the woman caught in adultery (John 8.1-11), He would have joined in stoning her instead of refusing to condemn and lovingly restoring her and sending her to ‘go, and sin no more’.

No, and this may be difficult for some to hear, the Bible is not the whole word of God but it does speak of God.

Yet even saying this I know that the Bible speaks more to me of God’s gracious unwarranted love now than it ever did when I was younger.

I think (I hope!) this is because I have grown closer to the Word of God, closer to Christ.  In previous times I found the Bible confusing and full of contradictions; making it easy for me to ignore God’s claim on my life.  Now that I know Jesus is standing next to me and, like Amy, I want Him to be ‘near me to the end’ and beyond, the words of the Bible speak lovingly about this Beloved One who is the Word.

Hebrews 4v12Perhaps this is why those who are not aware of the presence of The Word of God, those who are more distant from the ever-present One, find the words of the Bible to be unhelpful?  No amount of Light is of any use no good if you do not use it to find a path to begin the journey homeward…

I am always amazed by the faith of those who proclaim that, ‘the Bible clearly says…’  The Bible is not perfectly clear to me but I have become more content to see within its words the struggles of other people in their search for The Word.  Like my own journey theirs has not always been along the correct path.  Sometimes they have travelled along dead-end roads full of destruction, discrimination and damnation of others which a God of Love will not own.  My hope, and I pray it becomes yours as well, is that whenever I pick up the Scripture it’s words, which have helped many others, will stop my heart from wandering and guide my steps into the shelter of the One who Loves us Best.

To Do:

‘All I know is that once I was blind but now I see’ (John 9.25) are the words from the Bible that draw me closest to the Word of God.

Which words from the Bible draw you closest to Jesus?

Write them out and leave them in a prominent place so that you may read them frequently in the coming days.

To Pray:

Almighty God,
We thank you for the gift of your holy word.
May it be a lantern to our feet,
a light to our path
and a strength to our lives.
Take us and use us
to love and serve all people
in the power of the Holy Spirit
and in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.                                                from Pilgrim

Acknowledgements:
All of the music on the video clips from YouTube is © Amy Grant.  If you enjoy listening to her songs please consider buying her recordings.  A full discography and other information about Amy can be found on her website http://www.amygrant.com
Scripture quotes are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America
Prayers from Pilgrim are copyright © 2015 Stephen Cottrell, Steven Croft, Robert Atwell and Paula Gooder.

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