#SongInMyHeart · Bible Study · Church of England · Felixstowe · Growing in God · Lent · Prayer

With a Song in my Heart – Day 19

With a Song in my Heart – 40 Days of Sacred Songs

Day 19 – Wednesday after 3rd Sunday of Lent

To Listen:           Nge Gazi Lemvana


Nge ga(gazi lemvana)
Nge ga(gazi lemvana)
Nge ga(gazi lemvana ngiyosindiswa)
Nge ga(gazi lemvana)
Nge ga(gazi lemvana)
Nge ga(gazi lemvana ngiyosindiswa)

(The blood of the Lamb saves us)

From the Scriptures:

And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,

‘Now have come the salvation and the power
    and the kingdom of our God
    and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
    who accuses them day and night before our God.
11 But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.

(Revelation 12v7-11) 

To Reflect:

When I was vicar of Whitton, an estate Parish in North Ipswich, I enjoyed working with teenagers from our local High Schools.  Adolescents, as I’ve mentioned before, are volcanoes of passion and possibilities.  Male adolescents seem to be volcanoes on steroids!  Always boiling over, always red hot and fierce, always challenging the status quo.  (With which I agree – status quos need frequent challenge!)

When the boys were challenged about unhelpful behaviour, and they were , as is their wont, feeling their oats a little, they would sometimes get in my face and say, ‘What are you going to do about it vicar?’  Those were the times when I would pull the Ace out of my Deck of Cards and tell them about the five times I had been arrested, had loaded guns pointed at my face, had been tear-gassed, and had led protest marches.  The dynamic changed and we became allies instead of enemies.  But those arrests came at a price…

The first time I was ‘arrested’ was the decision of Timothy Bavin, then Bishop of Johannesburg.  After Bishop Mfaniseni Sigisbert Ndwandwe, one of our Suffragan Bishops had been detained for protesting against Apartheid, Bishop Timothy called a Sacred Synod of the clergy of the Diocese to the Cathedral

Sigisbert Desmond and Simeon

(Sigisbert is pictured here at a later protest with Bishop Desmond Tutu and Bishop Simeon Nkoane CR).

At the Synod Bishop Timothy mentioned that Sigisbert had done nothing that he, nor many of the clergy present would not do, and, if one bishop deserved to be detained then perhaps all the bishops and clergy of the Diocese should be locked up as well?  He then invited us to go for a gentle walk with him, not a march as protests had been banned, to Police Headquarters at John Vorster Square and politely suggest to the Constables in the Charge Office that they should arrest us as well.

My heart sank at these words.  I knew I had to walk with my bishops and fellow clergy but John Vorster Square was the dragon’s den.  It was there were people disappeared, or ‘accidentally’ slipped on soap in the showers, or somehow tried to escape out of windows 10 storeys above the ground.  Which sane person would enter the Lion’s lair?  But we did, and we were all duly arrested for several hours. However the local police had no idea what to do with us or where to put us so, after a few hours, we were de-arrested and told to go back to our churches and stay out of politics.

While we waited we sang.
We sang the Kyrie Eleison in Xhosa,
and we sang the Agnus Dei in Zulu (today’s glorious song from the wonderful Rebecca Malope).

And ever since then when I am in times of deep darkness and fear my worship is so often drawn to darkness of a Friday noonday when the lifeblood our Beloved was poured out for everyone – even police officers at John Vorster Square, (Never forget a centurion was the first non-disciple to recognise the Divinity of Christ), and I know that despite the machinations of evil I am safe and I have been saved.

There were other times of arrest and interrogation.  A memorable one for me is in today’s second photo is of Desmond Tutu, Keith Sutton (then Bishop of Lichfield) and Simeon Nkoane at a funeral I attended in KwaThema in 1985.  Was it frightening?  You bet!  Did we know that God was watching over us and protecting us always, everywhere? Yes!

After all Nge gazi lemvana ngiyosindiswa’ – The blood of the Lamb saves us.

Kwa Thema Funeral

To Pray:

Lord God, judge of all,
before whom no secrets are hidden,
let your justice shine out
and your righteousness sweep wickedness from its throne,
that we may live free from fear and stumbling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Psalm 94)

To Do:

1)  What frightens you most?  Consciously name it in prayer and place it under the covering of the Blood of the Lamb of God

2)  The next time you see a Police Officer greet them.  If you can offer them a coffee.  They may have to say, ‘no thank you’, but they will appreciate your care.


Reprise:              Uthando Lwakhe

Bhelekazi Shabangu tries to sing this favourite of the Mother’s Union in South Africa but is so focussed on praising God that she doesn’t get much past the first two lines.  However it remains a beautiful song


Uthando lwakhe (x3)             His love
Luyamangalisa                       is wonderful
Sihamba naye,                        we walk with Him,
sihlala naye                             we sit with Him,
Silala naye,                              we sleep with Him,
sivuka naye                             we wake with Him

If you liked that you’ll love this…

Rebecca Malope sings with so much passion that every note she sings grabs my heart.  If you want some Soul Sounds listen to this playlist.  You don’t need to speak any of the Nguni languages to have your spirit lifted by them.



Please Note:  These reflections are also published on my blog: suffolkvicarhomes.com on Twitter as @SuffolkVicar, and on my public Facebook page Rev Andrew Dotchin
If you would like them as a daily email please send a request to vicar@felixparish.com


Prayers are adapted from the Psalm Prayers in the Common Worship Psalter. material from which is included here, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2005
Scripture quotations are copyright © New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
These Reflections, ‘With a Song in my Heart’ are copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2022

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