#Mercy & Grace · Amy Grant · Church of England · Felixstowe · Growing in God · Lent · poem · Prayer · Sermon

Mercy & Grace – Day 19

God shall wipe away all tears

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

Day 19 – Wednesday 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:

6   On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear. 
7   And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
8   he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
 It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Isaiah 25.6-9

 

From Amy Grant:                             “That’s The Day”

There are burdens that I carry everyday
Sometimes they make me want to cry
Hopeless feelings harboured deep inside my heart
And I find it hard to hold my head up high

In the middle of the darkness in my life
I find a strength to carry on
I am holding to a promise Jesus made
And I know it won’t be long ’til we’ll be gone.

In a while we’ll be gone
And we won’t have to cry anymore, no.
All our sorrows left behind
And that’s the day that I am waiting for
And that’s the day that I am longing for

If you feel there is no meaning in your life
And it seems you’ve lost your way
Listen closely to the voice that’s deep inside
And remember what the Saviour has to say

In a while we’ll be gone
And we won’t have to cry anymore
All our sorrows left behind
And that’s the day that I am waiting for
And that’s the day that I am longing for
And that’s the day that I am looking for

 

To Listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=610KNwUw-TI

 

To Reflect:

Which day of the week, or the year perhaps, do you look forward to the most?  A birthday?  A special anniversary?  The beginning of the Summer Holiday?  For me, first amongst many dates is the morning of Maundy Thursday when, together with my brothers and sisters priests we are given the privilege of standing together and saying ‘Yes!’ to the call to follow Him wherever He may lead us as we serve the people of God.

On that day I sometimes have a little weep as I ponder how I have met the past year.  Often faithfully, occasionally failing, frequently celebrating, sometimes devastated at the dark things I have seen since I last stood in the Cathedral to say ‘Yes!’ to my Beloved once more.  However I have felt before the Maundy Thursday service begins by its end I am full of hope and the promise of a further ‘Day’ to come when my ‘Yes!’ will be ‘something understood’ and ‘all my sorrows have been left behind and I will be gone’.

Yesterday I stood chatting to a friend at the funeral of one of his work colleagues.  He spoke of how; at this end of his life he seemed to be attending such funerals more and more frequently.  ‘One day’ he said, and I pray not yet for he is a dear friend, ‘it would be his turn.’  We talked of how we would be remembered after our passing, hopefully wept over for a while by close families and then, later on perhaps, our names added to a list to be read out in church on All Souls Day for a season or two.  I look forward to that time, and a further time when some enthusiastic young vicar will look at the long list of names for All Souls Day and say to herself, ‘Andrew Dotchin?  Who on earth was he?’  And then strike me off of that list and finally lay even my name to rest.

In a while we’ll be gone
And we won’t have to cry anymore
All our sorrows left behind
And that’s the day that I am waiting for
And that’s the day that I am longing for
And that’s the day that I am looking for.

Cathedral LentCross0-1100x1556Waiting, longing, looking, for a day when we are ‘gone’.  It will come soon enough. It is the hope of the passing of all things that enables us to bear the burdens and fears buried deep within us in this time, which can sometimes seem so dark, before the dawn of ‘The Day

This song is not for me a morbid one.  It is instead one that overflows with hope.  Yes, this world is not all that it should be but we are not put her to decry its desolation.  Instead here, for the space before the dawn, we are called to transform the night and serve Him as best we can.  There will be tears, burdens, and sorrow in this task but, as we learn to listen ever more closely to the whispered love song of our Saviour, there will also be intense happiness, fellowship and a deep joy which will prepare us to be with Him and enjoy Him for ever

 

To Do:

What one thing burdens you most?  Say ‘thank you’ to God that one day, ‘in a while it will be gone.’

 

To Pray:

Bring us O Lord God at out last awakening
into the house and gate of heaven,
to enter that house and dwell in that house
where there shall be nor darkness nor dazzling but one equal light;
no noise nor silence but one equal music;
no fears nor hopes but one equal possession;
no ends or beginnings but one equal eternity;
in the habitations of your glory and dominion,
world without end.  Amen.             Eric Milner-White (after John Donne) 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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