Mercy & Grace – 40 Days with the Music of Amy Grant
Day 33 – Friday 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
From the Scriptures:
17 Though the fig tree does not blossom,
and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails
and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold
and there is no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will exult in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3.17-18)
From Amy Grant: Singing a Love Song
Well, I may not get applause every night when I sing,
And I may not hear the cheers of any crowd
And my voice can’t always rise to make the mountains ring,
And at times I can’t even sing out aloud
You’ve got me singing a love song,
Melody and rhyme;
It moves me every time,
You’ve got me singing a love song,
And it keeps You on my mind, ooooh, on my mind
Feelin’ fine all the time
It keeps You on my mind
Sometimes my voice is strained
and the strings won’t hold a tune
My back is sore, and I’m just too tired to try,
And I don’t want to work or rest or think of You,
Or face the world or even close my eyes
You’ve got me singing a love song…
My broken dreams, they don’t bother me,
And hard times in life I don’t mind
I think of things that I’d rather see,
And You give me peace of mind
Hard times will come and sometimes I won’t wanna sing,
But I’ll sing with all the love that I can find
And I’m happy that you hear me in the silence of my song
I’m gonna sing for You until the end of time
‘Cause You’ve got me singin’ a love song….
Have you ever felt like just giving up? Things just get too much and you wonder why you even bother? Once in a while I walk away from times of trying to help others bruised and battered. It feels to me almost as if when reaching out your hand to help you have to do it carefully for fear that it will get bitten! Perversely, when this teaches you to be careful about making yourself vulnerable, the very ones who wound you want to know why you have stopped helping them!
When this happens I understand why people walk ‘off the job’ of volunteering in churches and seek solitude in a personal piety or even a different faith journey altogether…and this is so, so, sad. It hurts, its sore, and nothing seems to fit in the place it is meant to be. The vocation that shone so brightly yesterday and filled you to overflowing with joy has turned to ash leaving behind an ache in your heart and a sour taste in your mouth.
What is the answer for this dis-ease? How are we to respond when the bugle has given an indistinct call (1 Corinthians 4.18) and we are not sure of the next step to take? Amy, when ‘her back is sore and she is too tired to try’ remembers she is a singer, remembers that her core vocation is to sing songs of love, remembers that His love is greater than any hurt, remembers that He Himself took the hurt of the world and turned it into the love of the cross.
Amy has certainly met hard times in life – sadly even at the hands of the church. A church that still seems more eager to put people beyond the pale rather than accept them within the circle of God’s great love. Sometimes I wonder if one of the reasons why the church has resisted including John 8.1-11 completely in the canon of scripture is because we cannot countenance such a generous love?
The scripture that says it all for me are the desperate words of the disciples when other people are turning away from following Jesus. ‘‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6.68). Sometimes the church is stony ground in which to grow. I have too many friends whose love for Him is not acceptable to others who are meant to profess that same love but, in the end, it is the only place where His song of love can be sung. It is both our privilege and our joy to sing for Him until the end of time.
Next time you are in a church alone sing a hymn or a song out loud.
The spiritually minded have tended to find the visible church a troubled and imperfect home. To found a ‘pure church’ has long been the instinct of impatient zeal. But this instinct must be restrained. The visible church is to be borne with because it is the Sprit’s purpose to provide a home of training and improvement for the imperfect. ‘Let both grow together until the harvest.’ The church is to be a mother, not a magistrate.
Charles Gore in Pilgrim
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.