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

Mercy & Grace – Day 9

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

Day 9 – Friday 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.)

 

To Read:  

From the Scriptures:

Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.   (Revelation 3.20)

From Amy Grant:                      

Introductory words by Amy:

[This song] reminded me of a time in my life where I was smiling so big on the outside and dying on the inside and there are so many people in our churches and in our towns that way.

“Come Into My World”

Come into my world
Come crashing through the ceiling
And find the messy rooms, the scattered pearls
If you are brave, then come into my world

Come into my world
So lovely from the outside
So dark in here the demons dance and twirl
And find their pleasure frightening this girl
If you are brave, then come into my world

Cause I never saw the changes come
Or knew enough to run when this old house had come undone
And now I’m buried in the walls
And no one comes to call but you
Come into my world, Come into my world

Come into my world
I cannot find the doorway
It’s overgrown with vines that twist and curl
If you are brave then come into my world

Come into my world
There’ll be no other invitation
Not another sound, another word
Nothing more than you’ve already heard
Please be brave and come into my world

Cause I never saw the changes come…

  

To Listen:

 

To Reflect: 

I guess Amy’s introduction for this video says it all.  How many people do you know about whom these words are true?  If we are honest, perhaps they even speak the truth about our own lives once in a while…

outside smile inside cryTo be a Christian it seems that you have to be absolutely overflowing with the joy of the Lord.  If we ever dare own up to the possibility that what people see on the outside is not a carbon copy of who we really are then we have somehow failed at being faithful.  However for many loving faithful people, all too frequently ‘this old house comes undone’.  The tragedy is not that it happens – life wears us out and circumstances turn things upside down – but that we are not allowed (or do not allow ourselves) to own up to the reality of our feelings.

I do not know how this lie, that because we are ‘saved’ then everything must be ‘hunky-dory’, crept into our faith?  The opposite of yesterday’s ‘Cynical Christian’ is the false mask of the ‘Celebration Christian’ about whom Amy sings with such heart-breaking honesty.

Where does God say that, once we had given our life into His loving care, we would be left alone to fight our battles with a fixed smile on our face?  We seem to have been hoodwinked into some kind of New Age Deism that arrogantly demands that we demonstrate our faith by going it alone.  Whatever happened to those gentle words ‘I will never leave you or forsake you?’ (Hebrews 13.5)

overgrown church doorwaySome Christians can point to moments in their lives where they asked God to come into their hearts.  Having done that can we go one step further and ask Him to come into the whole of our world?  But I hear my own heart say ‘Surely God does not want to be poking around inside this ugly world of mine?  A world full of darkness, demons and fear?’  Of course God does!  And so He faithfully stands, and knocks, and waits, and reminds us, that there is nothing inside us that He cannot heal and restore.

But the words of Amy’s song are not just for The One who ‘stands at the door and knocks’ but also for the church as a whole.  We have a duty to care for all of our sisters and brothers.  We are called watch over one another and help one another on the journey home.  It is a hard road and each of us will find times when we want to lock our true self away and plaster a cheesy ‘Celebration Christian’ grin on our face.  Those moments are the times when we need the church around us to be brave and caring, tear away the creepers we have let grow around the doorway of our faith, and begin the work of exorcising demons, banishing darkness, and replacing fear with hope.

 

To Do:

The next time a friend says they are ‘fine’ and you know that they are not, be brave enough to ask them if it would help if you spent some time in their world.

I'm fine

To Pray:

Let your door stand open to receive Christ,
unlock your soul to Him,
offer Him a welcome in your mind,
and then you will see the riches of simplicity,
the treasures of peace,
and the joy of grace.                                Ambrose of Milan in 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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