Mercy & Grace – 40 Days with the Music of Amy Grant
Day 5 – Monday after 1st Sunday of Lent
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.)
From the Scriptures:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 7 but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1.5-10)
From Amy Grant: “Walking In The Light”
The sun woke me up real early,
It’s a beautiful morn
‘Cause I’m going down to the river to be reborn
And me and Jesus did some heavy talking last night
So I’m going down to be dipped and
Come up walking in the light
So I’m going down to the river real early this morn
Jesus said, through Him we can be reborn
And oh the joy that’s come inside me
Laughter fills my night and fills my day
With a song of love to guide me
And the happy words you send my way
Life with you has made me feel
The miracle of making melody
Just a simple wonder when
you’re walking in the light
“Sunlight”, so said Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in 1914, “is the best disinfectant; electric light the most efficient policeman”. Light, as both Brandeis and the Apostle John knew, is a powerful tool for the good of the body, the rule of law and the health of the soul.
Lent is a time when many Christians choose to ‘walk in the light’ a little more publicly and it is hard work! Unlike other faiths we have no obvious form of dress – yarmulke, hijab, turban or saffron robes – that sets us apart as being people committed to a particular faith and way of living. Those around do not look at our dress and expect us to behave according to a particular righteousness but instead look at our ‘ordinariness’ and are challenged when we attempt to behave in a righteous manner.
How many reading this have been asked at some time by secular friends as to what they have ‘given up’ for Lent? And how many of our ‘friends’ have then deliberately tempted us with the very object we have chosen to do without! My own public discipline this year is to have only one alcoholic drink a day. My ‘friends’ at The Man on the Moon Public House take great delight in offering the vicar another pint just to see if I will stick to my promise. As they say, that’s what friends are for
But choosing to walk in the light is about a little bit more than giving up beer and chocolate. Using the picture of baptism that Amy gives us in today’s song it is about a conscious decision to immerse ourselves in Him.
Being ‘in Christ’ (εν Χριστώ for those who know a little Greek) is a whole new way of living. This is why baptism is the supreme symbol of the family of Christ. In olden times (and even new rituals in the Church of England) those being baptized would face West towards the night, renounce darkness, and then turn to the East to face the dawn as they welcomed Christ into their life.
Amy reminds us that it does take some ‘heavy talking’ with the One who Loves us Best to get to the Light. However, when we are there, oh the joy, the laughter, and the song of love which comes along with living in the Light! Would that all Christians would remember this – there is perhaps nothing that furthers the devil’s work so much as a gurn-faced, grumpy, gossiping, Christian!
When this happens instead of walking in the Light we are tempted to live in the shadows. And then we fester in the dark instead of being cleansed by the light. Once we step into the light there is no room for shadow boxing only the truth of God’s love and forgiveness. Yes, sunlight is the best disinfectant, and, in common with all household detergents, it requires work and perhaps some pain to step out of the darkness to the light – but is not the joy, laughter, and healing which comes with it worth it?
Sometime between now and Easter Day have a ‘heavy talking’ session with Jesus and let His Light shine on the darkest places of your life that you may find a new joy.
If you belong to a church community with a strong sacramental tradition this may be something to take to Confession with you…
Who refuses to stay in remote purity,
but comes looking for us where we fail.
Grant us the courage to see your face and,
in the light of your grace,
to renounce the evil that destroys
and embrace the love that gives to all.
We ask this in the name of Jesus
who came to where we are
and is not surprised by what he found there.
Amen. from Pilgrim
To read more quotes from Justice Louis Brandeis follow this link:
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.