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Mercy & Grace – Day 18

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

Day 18 – Tuesday after 3rd 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 the Covid19 pandemic which is affecting the whole world 

To Read:  

From the Scriptures:

Then a voice came from the throne, saying:
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
both great and small!”
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah!
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19.5-9

 

From Amy Grant:                                  Imagine

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When your face is looking at me

Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus?
Or in awe of You be still?

Imagine.

I can only imagine.
I can only imagine
All creation bowed down
The whole universe saying your name out loud

I can only imagine
All our broken lives resurrected in the healing light
Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus?
Or in awe of you be still?

Will I stand in your presence?
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing Hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine, I can only imagine
Surrounded by forgiveness what will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you Jesus?
Or in awe of you be still?

Will I stand in your presence?
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing Hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine, I can only imagine………..

 

To Listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok1X7Qv0Kb0

To Reflect: 

I think when I first open my eyes in the ‘life after life’ I might cry floods of tears.

This would be followed by the longest hug in eternity with the best friend any of us has ever had, and then the biggest smile in heaven.  After which I might just kick off my sandals, return to my childhood, and run to find a grass covered slope to roll down with my brothers, my sister, and my cousins until we are exhausted and end up in a giggling heap of arms and legs at the bottom of the hill.  But then I have always known that at heart I am quite happy to be just a little bit silly…

What will your first steps in paradise be like?  Can you, have you, like Amy ever imagined what it will be like to finally come home?  My reaction is, I suspect, just a bigger version of how I feel when I come home from a long tiring time away.  To be ‘home’ with those close to us should be – if we are blessed – a foretaste of the heavenly dwelling place that He went ahead to prepare for us.  Those of us who are fortunate enough to have caring homes blessed with warm fellowship should remember to say ‘thank you’ each day and pray for those who live fractured lives at home or are without a home at all – to this day I cannot read the story of The Little Match Girl without weeping.

Thinking about it I suppose, unless something dramatic has happened during our growing up, the place where we begin to build a picture of what our heavenly home may be like can only ever be through the experiences of our earthly home.  Some of our homes have not been good places to grow, and so our picture of heaven may be tinged with fear – some of Amy’s songs next week will speak to a small part of this.  Others of us have had stable loving homes in which to grow, and we must resist the temptation to judge people whose families are not similar to our own.  All of us must remember that where we started, thank the Lord, is not going to be where we will end.

To learn to ‘imagine what it will be like’ when we come to our final home will take courage and a willingness to show the One Who Loves us Best our hopes and our cares, our wishes and our wounds.  Only by doing this can He hold every single part of our lives and help prepare us for the life that is yet to be.

I do not want to miss out on a single corner of the ‘eternal weight of glory’ for which we are being prepared so with joy I will wave goodbye (and I hope a ‘thank you’) to all that has been given to me here and learn to weep, and hug, and smile, and roll down grassy slopes and, at the end (or is it the beginning?) of all things, giggle.

 

To Do:

Read either:

The last chapter of ‘The Last Battle’ by C.S. Lewis
or
The Story of The Little Match Girl

…or perhaps both 

 

To Pray:

The Lord showed me a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, on the palm of my hand, round like a ball.  I looked at it thoughtfully and wondered, ‘What is this?’  And the answer came, ‘It is all that is made.’  I marvelled that it continued to exist ad did not suddenly disintegrate; it was so small.  And again my mind supplied the answer, ‘It exists both now and for ever, because God loves it.’  In short, everything owes its existence to the love of God. In this ‘little thing’ I saw three truths.  The first is that God made it; the second is that God loves it; and the third is that God sustains it.  But what he is who is in truth Maker, Keeper, and Lover I cannot tell, for until I am essentially united with him I can never have full rest or real happiness; in other words, until I am so joined to him that there is absolutely nothing between my God and me.                            (Mother Julian of Norwich 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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