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Mercy & Grace – Day 28

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

Day 28 – Saturday after 4th 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:

Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.    (Deuteronomy 4.9)

From Amy Grant:                                 “Heirlooms”

Up in the attic
Down on my knees
Lifetimes of boxes
Timeless to me
Letters and photographs
Yellowed with years
Some bringing laughter
Some bringing tears

Time never changes
The memories, the faces
Of loved ones, who bring to me
All that I come from
And all that I live for
And all that I’m going to be
My precious family
Is more than an heirloom to me

Wiseman and shepherds
Down on their knees
Bringing their treasures
To lay at his feet
Who was this wonder baby yet king
Living and dying
He gave life to me

Time never changes
The memory, the moment
His love first pierced through me
Telling all that I come from
And all that I live for
And all that I’m going to be
My precious Saviour
Is more than an heirloom to me

My precious Jesus
Is more than an heirloom to me

 

To Listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Y6GNg3uPU

To Reflect: 

‘God has no grandchildren’ so evangelists down the ages have said as they encourage those listening to the Good News to accept God’s love for themselves.  The words reflect the challenge that Christianity (along with other faiths) has of becoming part of a background culture instead of a lively way of living.  It is all too easy for one generation to presume that it has passed the faith on to the next and, little by little, churches suddenly find that they are missing a whole generation.

Amy’s song says the same thing.  We can, and should keep our precious memories of our family and cherish them, but God has no grandchildren and our faith is not an heirloom – no matter how precious.  I imagine Amy in the attic of her childhood home sorting through all the precious things and stumbling upon the family nativity scene.  Though this is the gift of her past it is also her present reality, more than an heirloom

Open the Book LogoToday’s bible verse is used by ‘Open the Book as a reminder to churches that it is the responsibility of the Christian community to teach their children the faith and that teachers should not be left alone to do this important job for them.  So, with the support of those teachers, they go to schools and simply ‘Open the Book’ and tell the stories of the faith.  Faith is more than an heirloom and so it is our responsibility to tell it to our children that they may know of this gift and we ourselves claim this love for our own.

If we do not, if we remain ‘cultural Christians’, we will end up learning about the faith and never live it; know all of its teachings yet never let them touch those around us.  This is sad as it takes the joy out of the centre of the Gospel and we miss out on the love of the precious Saviour whose love aches to fold us in His arms.

 

To Do:

Though it is Lent, if you can pick up the Baby from your nativity scene and hold it in your hands during your next time of personal prayer.  If you do not have a nativity scene of your own plan to buy one (or even make one) in time for Christmas.

 

To Pray:

Christ must be in every home, if it is to be in any way a home of peace and love.  God’s plans are better than our own, and he has ordained that the training place for his human creatures should be the home; the training-place for parents as well as children.  Our task is to restore true family life for it is God’s own institution, and therefore a divine thing.  The home is God’s institution as truly as is the church: let that be the truth that we proclaim.

Mary Sumner (founder of the Mother’s Union) in Pilgrim

 

If you would like to find out more about ‘Open the Book’ visit

http://www.biblesociety.org.uk/about-bible-society/our-work/open-the-book/

 

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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