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

Mercy & Grace – Day 34

love filed hands

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

Day 34 – Saturday 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:

13 ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

14 ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.  (Matthew 5.13-16)

  

From Amy Grant:                          “Fill Me With Your Love”

There are so many
Who don’t know the reason
Their lives are wasting away
Just souls without purpose
They wander in darkness
Without a thought for the day
Well, I’m no Saviour
I’m just a window
Through which Your sweet lovelight can shine
So clean out the corners of my darkened pane
And fill me with Your love again

Fill me with Your love again
Fill me with Your love again
I open my heart’s door for you to enter in
And fill me with Your love again

[repeats]

 

To Listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQSy6D797cA

 

To Reflect: 

Light will not come into this world by shouting at the darkness of another.

When I see people, especially those close to me, who stumble from one poor decision to another, or consistently make bad choices, or are even deliberately selfish, I weep.  Occasionally I am angered by their behaviour, especially if it comes from someone within the family of faith who should know better.  On rarer occasions (which should be more frequent!) I remember that my own light does not shine as bright as it should and turn, beating my chest, to whisper ‘mea culpa, mea maxima culpa’. 

It is all too easy – particularly for those who see themselves as ‘in the light’ –  to speak of the ‘lostness’ of others instead of our own need for love and cleansing. Please Lord, hasten the day when the church will see that the reign of God’s love is not established by cursing those living in the darkness.  It is served much better by ensuring that our own light shines bright, that by it we may gently lead those living in the shadows into the sunshine of God’s love.  If we give in to the temptation to condemn others, we are giving in to a love of self.  If we spend ourselves in being a brighter light, our love becomes purer as it is poured out for those who are lost and loveless.

The answer to the darkness of the world is to fill it with the call of the One Who Loves us Best.  For this to happen we ourselves need to be filled to overflowing with that love ourselves and be able to shine brightly with none of our own shadow hiding His light from a too dark world.

So clean out the corners of my darkened pane
And fill me with Your love again

Here are two prayers that may be a simple guide through Holy Week.

Lord, cleanse me.
Lord, fill me.

When we have become these prayers then we will have begun to ‘to set our lamps on lampstands’ and those living in the dark will be drawn to the glory of God.

 

To Do:

Clean or tidy up one part of your home or workplace that is cluttered or dirty.  As you clean ask the One Who Loves us Best to cleanse your heart and fill the emptiness with love.

 

To Pray:

O Lord, penetrate those murky corners
where we hide memories and tendencies
on which we do not care to look,
but which we will not disinter and yield freely up to you,
that you may purify and transmute them:
the persistent buried grudge,
the half-acknowledged enmity
which is still smouldering;
the bitterness of that loss
we have not turned into sacrifice;
the private comfort we cling to;
the secret fear of failure which saps our initiative
and is really inverted pride;
the pessimism which is an insult to your joy, Lord;
we bring all these to you,
and we review them with shame and penitence
in your steadfast light.
Evelyn Underhill in Pilgrim – Book One

 

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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