Lent is a time to re-turn to God. Celtic spirituality is characterized by the expectation of finding God within. Finding God within ourselves and within creation by listening for the heartbeat of God. Describe a time in your life where you have heard the heartbeat of God.
Whenever I hear the hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” I hear and feel the heartbeat of God. “Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace.” These words and the music take me back 38 years when I was the beneficiary of God’s grace and mercy. I was on an airplane returning from an IBM sales training course in Atlanta. On the flight I suffered a stroke that changed the course of my life.
I was carried off the plane and taken to meet Tom and our boys, ages 4 and 1 1/2. Tom had been forewarned that he would need a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk, that something very serious had happened. Over many months, I went from a wheelchair to a walker, to a cane and finally walking on my own. With much physical therapy, with Tom’s love, devotion and encouragement, with a multitude of prayers across the land, I began to get better. “Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.”
Where did I hear, where did I see and where did I feel the heartbeat of God? God’s heart surrounded me, beating in the love of family, friends and neighbors who stepped in to help with meals, carpooling (I couldn’t drive for quite awhile) and taking care of the boys while I focused on getting well.
How did my life change? God became an abiding presence in my life. Previously, my faith was in my head. “Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; he to rescue me from danger interposed his precious blood.” I began to feel a shift; my faith in and love of God traveled from my head to my heart, a heart opening to God’s presence, mercy and grace.
“O to grace how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be! Let that grace now like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee."
COLLECT OF THE DAY
Let your Spirit, O Lord, come into the midst of us to wash us with the pure water of repentance, and prepare us to be always a living sacrifice to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
LISTEN TO "COME THOU FONT OF EVERY BLESSING"
Click link below to listen to Sujan Steven's incredible arrangement of this hymn.
Click on the link below purchase our recommended book on Celtic spirituality & prayer - Celtic Prayers from Iona: The Heart of Celtic Spirituality by J. Philip Newell.