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

Mercy & Grace – Day 30

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

Day 30 – Tuesday after 5th 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:

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff – they comfort me.
Psalm 23.1-4

 

From Amy Grant:                       “Walking Away With You”

He calls me to the darkness
He tries to put some hardness in my heart pulling us apart
He tells me that he needs me
But lies are all he feeds into my life day and night

When I’m losing my sense of direction
And I’m needing some strength and protection
Walking away with You
I go walking away with You
And when I think I can’t stand any longer
And I’m crying for someone that’s stronger
Walking away with You
I go walking away with You

There’s nothing he can do
His threat to me is through
When I go walking away with You

Lonely overtakes me
Everyone forsakes me, friends are gone, pain is on
Walls around my feelings
Emptiness concealing all my view
All but You

When I’m needing someone to console me
Nearly dying for someone to hold me
I’m walking away with You
I go walking away with You
And when I’m faced with a tricky temptation
I abandon the whole situation
Walking away with You
I go walking away with You

Oh what a failsafe plan
Just staying hand in hand
I’ll keep on walking away with You

I don’t notice if no one’s around me
When I see that Your loving has found me
taken by surprise
Like sunlight in a clouded sky
Then I’m dancing as light as a feather
‘Au revoir’ to the stormy weather
Walking from the night
To never ending light

When I’m losing my sense of direction…

 

To Listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GRXMIQ461M

To Reflect:

On Friday I was just a little bit jealous of my wife.  Lesley-Anne had done her Lenten planning well and managed to spend a whole day in the quiet holiness that is a Retreat Day at Otley Hall – a family home near to us which is open to the public for prayer, reflection, and quiet.  When she returned at the end of the day my beloved’s face was absolutely shining, her soul had been refreshed, and she was ready to return to a long day of work on Saturday.  She was also looking forward to the next Quiet Day at Otley Hall as well!

I, on the other hand, have failed miserably at getting a solid chunk of time away during this Lent and will have to hope that I can defend some ‘empty time’ in Holy Week against all comers.  When Lent (or just life in general) gets too busy for me I know I am treading on dangerous territory, the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ if you will.  For when I am too busy to listen to the voice of The One Who Loves me Best I spend too much time listening to my own voice.  If things are really busy I even end up listening to a darker harsher voice full of lies from which I resolved to turn away many years ago.  By this stage in Lent I have often forfeited several of my promises and start to wonder if I will ever learn to listen to the gentle voice of the Shepherd of my soul?  How I long for Easter Day and the opportunity to say with my sisters and brothers ‘I turn to Christ, I repent of my sin, I renounce evil!’

St-Julian-Norwich-9830We are fortunate in East Anglia that it is a peaceful place full of much natural and human beauty where it is easy to see God’s hand and hear God’s voice.  I never dreamt that I would be able to spend an hour of silence in Mother Julian’s anchorage in Norwich, listen to the choir singing in King’s College Cambridge, or sit in the sunlit church at Iken near Aldeburgh that Botolph built when he came to bring the Good News to the East Angles.  So why do I not go to them more frequently?  Surely they are a sufficient refuge to face down assaults by the world, the flesh, and the devil?  I know, just as my beloved did this Friday past, that I find in such places succour and strength for the days ahead but I still drag my heels.  Maybe I think too much of myself; and presume that if I am not around to do things they won’t be done correctly.  Perhaps I am a little arrogant; and imagine that I have more than enough inner strength and spiritual reserves to cope on my own.  What if it is just a false humility; which says that God is too busy to lavish time and attention on the likes of me?  Of course such false humility is more correctly named vanity.

The Love which is there waiting for us at the hand of the Good Shepherd is so rich, so pure, so full to overflowing, that we are foolish to neglect times of intimacy and quiet with him.  Why do we not run to His shelter everyday?  Little wonder that the people of God are often compared to sheep, one of the more wilful and recalcitrant animals of His making!  Whenever I turn to Him, no matter how long I have been absent, and no matter how far away I have wondered from His love, He is there in all His fullness, His glory and His gentleness.

Dear Lord, please take your lambs in your loving arms, whisper your love song in our ears, and gently lead us home.

To Do:

Look at the time left until Easter (Lent is now three-quarters done!) and try to carve out even a little time to ‘Walk away with Him’ and allow yourself to be wrapped up in His love.

To Pray:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, comfort me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
In your wounds hide me.
Do not allow me to be separated from you.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death call me.
And order me to come to you,
That with your Saints
I may praise you forever.
Attributed to Ignatius of Loyola 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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