With a Song in my Heart – 40 Days of Sacred Songs
Day 40 – Holy Saturday
To Listen: Heart of Worship
When the music fades,
all is stripped away,
and I simply come.
Longing just to bring
something that’s of worth,
that will bless your heart.
I’ll bring you more than a song,
for a song in itself
is not what you have required.
You search much deeper within,
through the way things appear;
you’re looking into my heart.
I’m coming back to the heart of worship,
and it’s all about you,
all about you,
Jesus. I’m sorry, Lord,
for the thing I’ve made it,
when it’s all about you,
all about you, Jesus
King of endless worth,
no one could express
how much you deserve.
Though I’m weak and poor,
all I have is yours,
every single breath.
(Matt Redman 1997)
From the Scriptures:
Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ 10 He answered, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.’
11 He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.
(1 Kings 19v9-12)
If, like me, you are involved in the nuts and bolts of Passiontide and Holy Week you may find it to be at the same time exhilarating but also exhausting. So much to plan, so many things to arrange, so many voices (and not all of them as godly as they should be!) clamouring for attention.
Today is a day, apart from ensuring those arranging flowers have a large supply of hot cross buns, of waiting and watching and listening rather than doing. If things haven’t been organised for Easter Day by today they aren’t going to be. After all if the new Paschal Candle gets dropped and breaks, the weather closes in and you can’t light the Paschal Fire outside the church door, the local shops have run out of Easter Eggs for your children’s activity, that is just how things are. No amount of running around will fix things and, if we do, we end up becoming acolytes of Martha of Bethany, busy with ‘too many things’ when in fact ‘only one thing is needful’ (Luke 10v38-42).
Today, everything that needs to be done was done yesterday ‘on a hill faraway’. A little extra Brasso to polish up the lectern, a quick run around with a spray bottle to freshen up the flowers, checking (once again) that you have grains of incense to put in the Paschal candle, these things will keep our hands busy but they are not of the essence of the day.
So today no hymns to sing.
No story about when I first met this tune.
No comment on how this was a turning point in the pilgrimage home.
Just two songs to listen to and learn that all is well.
Today is a day to return to the ‘Heart of Worship’. A day to put the King of endless worth at the centre of our world and remind ourselves that today, every day, is all about Him.
Open our ears, glorious Lord Christ,
to hear the music of your voice
above the chaos of this world;
open our eyes to see the vision of your glory,
for you are our King, now and for ever.
Nothing… All that needs to be done has already been done for us.
Reprise: Undivided Heart
Ever since I first heard this song, soon after Vicky Beeching came out of the closet and published her book Undivided, it has grabbed my heart. In the book she speaks how she wrote it at a time when she was struggling with her sexual orientation and tried to suppress it. It has now become for her a song about God’s complete and utter acceptance of her. May its words bring you peace.
Brokenness has brought me to my knees
Face to face with all that’s dark in me
I can barely see You through my shame
Jesus come and wash me white again
Flood me with Your healing light
Help me choose what’s true and right
Give me an undivided heart
I want to love You with every part
Give me an undivided soul
I want to be Yours alone Yours alone
At the cross I find Your open arms
Reminding me there’s grace for all I’ve done
With Your blood You wipe away my past
Taking on Yourself my sin and scars
By Your power help me change
Break off every single chain
You make all things new
So take my ashes
and make them something beautiful
Do what only You can do
Take my ashes
and make them something beautiful
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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