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

Mercy & Grace – Day 10

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

Day 10 – Saturday 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:

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   (Romans 8.38-39)

From Amy Grant:                                     “First Love”

You are my first love sweet and gentle as the night
Just being near You now is like a lullaby
All that I have I’d give away to follow You
I can’t imagine having life without You

Oh, when all these worldly battles seem to never cease
You simply lift me up and rest me in Your peace
I heard some people say You’re only in my mind
I hope that someday You choose to find them.

All other loves will slowly fade like dying flame
Tomorrow, now, and yesterday You’re still the same
I wait with longing heart to see You come again
Your sweet and tender love will never end.

 

To Listen:

 

To Reflect: 

So what do you do when you are tired and worn out from the battles with a world that mocks your faith and a church that is cynical or will not allow space for the hurting parts of life?  I do not know about you but I run home and curl up in my beloved Lesley-Anne’s lap and have a darn good sob!  Cuddles on the sofa are some of the most healing moments of life!  (and have we missed them during Covid 19 Lockdown – normal cuddles resume DV on Monday)

mother and childI have always done this.  My earliest memory is of being a five-year-old child living in Malta.  I was playing on a slide in a local park and when I got to the bottom of it I realized I had torn the shorts I was wearing. So embarrassed at the laughter of some of the Maltese children,  (though at that age I had no idea why I should feel embarrassed – Genesis 3v10 perhaps?) I burst into tears, ran all the way home, and climbed into my mother’s lap.  She did not even notice my torn shorts and we have never spoken about it to this day – unless she happens to log on to Facebook that is…

For most people it is in the loving embrace of our parents that we find our true ‘first love’.  There in that security, we find out how to make sense of the broken pieces of life, and are given the strength to travel further.  This should prompt us to care and pray for those who come from fractured homes and do not know this ‘first love’.  It is also a reminder to those of us who are parents to pray more deeply for grace to love the children God has placed in our arms.

one generation of loving parentsWhen His disciples ask Jesus how they should pray he starts with ‘Father’, a new intimate word not the name of a distant deity.  Instead of teaching a ‘secret name’ shrouded in mystery, as it became in the Old Covenant, Jesus shows that the way to God is through a relationship and not a title.  God comes to us as lover not as object of worship.  When we become obsessed with form over relationship, word over deed, we make an idol of the God whose only desire is love.

But it is not easy to own up to being in love with God.  After all is not love a very human emotion and not worthy of the Divinity?  Or is it that what we call ‘love’ is only a shadow of the self-giving of the One who Loves us Best?  God comes to show us love and we instead turn to her dark sister Lust. Love only ever gives but Lust can only ever grab.

All that I have I’d give away to follow You
I can’t imagine having life without You  

There lies the answer.  When we learn to give everything away and ask God, who is the ‘First Lover’, to become the one we love first.  Then all else fades away and our only desire for those who do not rest in that loving embrace is that they be drawn closer.

My First Love wallpaper

To Do:

Write a love letter to God in which you speak of all your fears and uncertainties and then leave them in the everlasting arms.

To Pray:

You can give without loving…
…but you cannot love without giving.
Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s