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

With a Song in my Heart – Day 37

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

Day 37 – Wednesday in Holy Week


To Listen:                             Such Love


Such love, pure as the whitest snow;
such love weeps for the shame I know;
such love, paying the debt I owe;
O Jesus, such love.

Such love, stilling my restlessness,
such love, filling my emptiness;
such love, showing me holiness;
O Jesus, such love.

Such love, springs from eternity;
such love, streaming through history;
such love, fountain of life to me;
O Jesus, such love.

Graham Kendrick (b. 1950)

From the Scriptures:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast. but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

(1 Corinthians 13v1-7)

To Reflect: 

It has been said in more than one sermon at a wedding that when the 13th Chapter of the First Letter to the Corinthians was written the author had Jesus in mind and was not so much recounting what love is like but who Jesus is.  The preacher would then ask those present to replace the words ‘love is…’ with ‘Jesus is…’ and then ask the congregation and the nuptial couple if they could put their own name in the place of ‘love’.  A deep aspiration for a marriage and for all of life, which will probably take all of life to attempt.

On glorious, sunlit days (and perhaps on some of the darkest ones as well) putting our name in the place of ‘love’ is both a joy and a privilege but, for me, lack of consistency is my downfall.  I can be patient, kind, generous, humble, self-effacing, even tempered, forgiving even but I can’t do it all of the time.

1 Corinthians 13v7

What do we do when our love, despite all our best efforts runs out and instead of a life filled with joy happiness and the service of others we find ourselves in a morass of anger, pride, fault-finding, and being just plain mean?

When that happens we lean on the one who always gets it right and always holds us.

always protects,
always trusts,
always hopes,
always perseveres.

At a family wedding last year, knowing that both Johnathan and Sara were alumni of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I spoke about the power of the word ‘Always’ and re-reading those words now I am convinced that the only reason any of us are able to begin to even attempt to make a fist of living out the Glorious Gospel of God’s love is that Jesus (Love) is, without condition, for now and for ever.  It is for ‘always’.

As the song says, ‘Such Love!’  Knowing me, knowing us, with all our mixed motives, uncertainties, and self-serving, our Beloved chooses love and I am a 14-year-old boy at the Royal Hospital School once more:

My song is love unknown,
my Saviour’s love to me;
love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I,
that for my sake
my Lord should take
frail flesh and die?

Perhaps it’s the effect of on again off again lockdowns, perhaps it’s having not yet fully recovered from a Covid 19 infection six months ago, perhaps it’s just being over-awed at the prospect of being able to observe the whole of the Easter Triduum in what seems an age, but I have been on the verge of tears since 7.30am on Palm Sunday and I have a suspicion that there will be no let up before the afternoon of Easter Day.  Am I sad?  Not in the least!  Am I deeply, deeply grateful and looking forward to celebrating the resurrection with tears in my eyes, a smile on my face, and a box of tissues close to hand?

You betcha I am!

Always infinity

To Pray:

How generous is your goodness, O God,
how great is your salvation,
how faithful is your love;
help us to trust you in trial
and praise you in deliverance;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Psalm 66)

To Do:

Love is…

patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, honours others,
not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs,
does not delight in evil, rejoices with the truth.

Choose one to be your goal to grow in the faith for the rest of this year.

Reprise:                                Abba, Father

The only response to ‘such love’ is to let ourselves be enfolded in the arms of that same love knowing that once there we are ‘always’ safe.


Abba, Father, let me be
yours and yours alone.
May my will forever be
more and more your own.
Never let my heart grow cold,
never let me go.
Abba, Father, let me be
yours and yours alone.

(Dave Bilbrough)

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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