How sweet the sound! Amazing Grace played on a piper’s bag. The haunting drone enveloped me with peace. A tune I love reminded me that lost souls can be found and those we lose to death find faith’s release.
John Newton knew this truth first hand. By grace his life was saved. A reprobate became a parish priest. Through many dangers toils and snares, ‘twas grace that helped him see that all are objects of God’s love… the greatest to the least.
This month marks the 250th anniversary of the most-loved hymn of all time. I was grateful for Neil Hubbard’s rendition of Amazing Grace at a memorial service I recently conducted. Truly amazing!
May Your prophets find the courage to heed Your call as they strive to climb a mountain burdened for all. Help them dream a King-size vision of a land without division focused on a holy mission where tyrants fall.
May Your prophets speak out boldly hearing Your voice. Help them stand up for those victims denied a choice. Much like Moses and like Martin, use Your prophets as they pardon those enslaved and thus disheartened so they’ll rejoice.
May Your prophets stand on prophets’ shoulders of old, high above reproach or scandal grasping for gold. Help them to make plain Your passion even when it seems old-fashioned for the poor who have no stanchion out in the cold.
*This hymn text can be sung to the tune Ar Hyd Y Nos (All Through the Night)
With gratitude we raise our hands toward Heaven in praise and worship of the God we serve. We have been blessed with mercies beyond number. God’s faithfulness exceeds what we deserve. With hands held high, we reach to One who loves us much like a child who longs to be embraced.
With gratitude we raise our hands toward Heaven convinced our world is governed by God’s plan. When violence disrupts the peace we pray for, when prejudice and fear divide our land, with hands held high submitting to God’s purpose, we gratefully declare that God is love.
With gratitude we raise our hands toward Heaven acknowledging the One who’s in control. We humbly bow before our Lord and Maker relinquishing our bodies, minds and souls. With hands held high, we gratefully surrender to One who works all things for God’s own good.
April is that awesome month when dogwoods start to bark. It’s when our Uncle Sam collects his due. It is the time we hear “play ball” from umps behind the plate. It is the month that poets write haiku.
It is the month we celebrate that winter’s finally gone. We marvel at spring flowers in full bloom. And it’s the month we recognize our planet on Earth Day as butterflies emerge from their cocoons.
But most of all this month is known for what God did for us upon a cross and in an empty grave… a Holy Week that culminates in resurrection praise as Christians ‘round the world sing Jesus Saves.
And so I aim to “seize the day” to live what I profess embracing hope when darkness hides the sun. This month invites us to believe there’s more than meets the eye with growing clues that new life has begun.