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

Mercy & Grace – Day 20

Deep and Wide and HighMercy & Grace – 40 Days with the Music of Amy Grant

Day 20 – Thursday 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:

18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  (Ephesians 3.18-19)

 

From Amy Grant:                        “Deep As It Is Wide”

(feat. Sheryl Crow & Eric Paslay)

There’s a place at the edge of the sky
where there’s a love deep as it is wide.
The weak are strong, the hungry are all fed
there’s a breeze from the angels flying overhead.  Oh yeah!

And there’s a path, a glorious light
That guides you up a mountainside
And at the top, if you could you’d cry
‘Cause you’d see pure love for the very first time
Deep as it is wide

Every breath taking me closer.
Every step leading to paradise.
They say the faithful get to go there.
I believe there’s a love
deep as it is wide

And I hear, when you get to the river
You look back for the very last time
And when you cross, you get washed off forever.
Hurry up boy, eternity’s on the other side
Deep as it is wide

Every breath taking me closer…

Every nation, colour and creed
Like grace pouring out, far as the eye can see
Singing praises up to a King
‘cause He died, for a crown
Deep as it is wide

Every breath taking me closer…

 

To Listen:

https://www.youtube.c/watch?v=COLxbNfYuOA

 

To Reflect: 

This song, which comes from Amy’s most recent Album, is the song that holds me most at the moment.  When I first heard it I was reminded of the chorus (with actions of course) that I learnt so many years ago at a Sunday School run by Aggie Weston’s in a prefabricated hut on the edge of a Married Quarters estate in a bombed out area of Portsmouth.  ‘Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide…’ Do any of you remember it as well?

When I was younger and my sins were, as the Old Testament says, committed ‘with a high hand’ with everyone knowing that I had messed up big time, then I needed to know about this deep, wide love.  It was the only way I could ever manage to start again.  No matter how big my sin was, God’s love was deeper and wider and could hold all of my willfulness and wandering away.  Nowadays, my sins are not as publicly obvious but I still cling to that same comprehensive love.  If I do not then I am lost…

Amy’s version of my old Sunday School song reminds me that others are deserving of that same comprehensive love which washed over me for so many years and through so much darkness.  It is a love poured out for ‘every nation, colour, and creed’.  So big, so deep, so wide, that we have no power to control or command where the One Who Loves us Best pours out such overflowing bounty.  We worship a profligate God who somehow does not seem to care who receives this love so long as even a few turn homeward.

The church needs to learn just how big this unfathomable love is, and not dare to be so arrogant as to appoint herself to be the guardian of God’s generosity.  Like the workers in the vineyard we easily forget who it is that meets everyone at the end of the day and stop complaining that God gives so freely (Matthew 20.15).    In my denomination we are trying to understand what Good Disagreement would look like and it is proving to be hard work!  Somehow we cannot grasp how God can ever love people who are different to us.  We easily proscribe this deep, wide love and make it to be narrow and hedged about with conditions.  This is not love; it is a form of slavery from which we have been set free.

Mostly this happens when we attempt to prescribe to God who is lovable and who is not.  This is a futile task, as those who tried to nail Him down centuries ago found out.  All the cross did was to help our Lover stretch out His arms to love even more of the world!

We, the unworthy recipients of an over generous love, must learn generosity ourselves and endeavour to welcome all those who are welcomed by that self-same love.  For ‘unworthy servants’, as we are called to be (Luke 17.10) can only ever be faithful servants if we obey the commands of our Master…

‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
(John 15.12) 

 

To Do:

Send a message of encouragement to a Christian friend with whom you disagree.

 

To Pray:

Almighty God,
your Son has opened for us
a new and living way into your presence.
Give us new hearts and constant wills
that we may learn of your love
and come to worship you in spirit and in truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
from Pilgrim

 

For my most memorable Sunday school song click here 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzAW_sF1Jbs

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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