As the harp sounds her opening chords, this immersive and reflective piece invites you to spend time savouring the tender favour of the Lord.
How has He shown His compassion toward you? What concerns might you bring to Him now?
Sing with Mary how He has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful, for His loving devotion toward us is abundant! (Lk. 1:54; Ps. 106:45)
This presentation includes a piece for the harp by Dussek, as well as an arrangement of Beethoven’s celebrated Moonlight Sonata for the same instrument, both of which Fontane Liang plays beautifully.
The final piece is played on the autoharp by Heather Farrell-Roberts. Not many of us, perhaps, are familiar with the sound of this instrument, but there is both joy and tenderness here in a piece called Hawker’s Dream, written by Mike Fenton.
Do feel free to share these precious pieces with people you sense would benefit from an opportunity to experience more of the Lord’s great tenderness.
Praise the Lord, o my soul;
all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and let me never forget all Your benefits—
You forgive all my sins
and heal all my diseases,
You redeem my life from the pit
and crown me with love and compassion,
You satisfy my desires with good things
so that my youth is renewed, like the eagle’s.
You work righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
You make known Your ways as well as Your deeds.
You are compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in love.
You do not always chide,
nor will You harbour Your anger forever;
You do not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is Your love for those who fear You;
and as far as the east is from the west,
thus far have You removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him;
for He knows how we are formed,
You feed Your flock like a shepherd. You carry the lambs in Your arms, and hold them close to Your heart. With gentleness You lead those who have young. (Is. 40:11)
Therefore, let nothing deter me from coming to You – You who have lavished Your love upon me and delighted to call me Your child. (1 John 3:1)
I celebrate Your tenderness that stoops down to meet me at my point of need. Both the timing and the execution of Your plans are flawless beyond words. You know exactly how and when to act.
Jesus, I remember now before You times when You came and treated me with such compassion and tended my wounds. How very much more deeply and richly You have cared for me than I deserve! I felt so raw and vulnerable, and was all but down and out, but You chose to come to me, with Your mighty and present tenderness . . . even as your overshadowing presence came on the Mount of Transfiguration.
I come to You now and bring You the places where I am are feeling tender, raw and unsupported, knowing that You know just how to tend to them, and that you will never turn Your eyes away because our problems are too big or too small to be of concern to You.
May I get up early and go to the vineyards to see if the vines are flourishing, and whether the tender grapes are appearing – and to catch the foxes – those little foxes that threaten to spoil the vines. (Song of Songs 7:12, 2:15)
There are many who pretend to be tender and sympathetic, yet who, in reality, are anything but. You warn us that ‘the tender mercies of the wicked’ – that is, even their kindest acts are cruel and calculating. (Prov. 12:10) Grant us the discernment to recognise such traits.
Father, so many of the grapes on our vines and projects are still at a tender stage. Protect them from sharp frosts, physical or spiritual, and other things that would damage the crop and cause it to fail.
Forgive my many fears and failures, and do not hold against me the sins of generations past; rather let Your tender mercy come quickly to meet me. (Ps. 79:8)
Even when every wind appears contrary, and the nights fast frozen in ice, You have not shut up Your tender mercies or withheld Your compassion, (Ps. 77.9) nor forgotten to be gracious and merciful.
Remember, Lord, Your tender mercies and Your loving kindnesses; for they are from of old – from everlasting to everlasting. (Ps. 25:6)
Many are our trials and afflictions, but You know how to rescue us from them all. (Ps. 34:19; 2 Pet. #) You told the godly king Josiah that because his heart was tender and responsive, and he humbled himself before You when he heard what You spoke against Jerusalem and its people, and wept in Your presence, You heard his cry and dealt with him well and wisely kindly, gathering him to his ancestors and burying him in peace so that his eyes would not have to see all the disasters You were about to bring upon the city. (2 Chron. 34:27-28)
Therefore I say with the psalmist, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your lovingkindness: according to Your tender mercies and great compassion blot out my transgressions. (Ps. 51.1)
Continue to redeem my life from the pit and to rescue me from many scrapes, and from those who bear me ill will. Crown Your work with tender love and compassion we pray. (Psalm 103:4)
Even as You granted Daniel to be looked upon with tender and strategic favour by the officials who were over him, so grant us too favour in our varied works of services and employment, and in the projects that we attempt for You. (Daniel 1:9)
May we, as a nation and a Church find creative ways to share Your tenderness with others, for You have told us to look out for the widows and the orphans, to remember those in prison as though we ourselves were suffering, and to care for those who are strangers and sojourners in our midst; welcoming, receiving and accepting one another, as Christ has welcomed and accepted us for the glory of God. (Romans 15:7).
Abba, Father, light of the Word, alight now upon each one who is hearing these words. by the power of Your Spirit. Send renewed vision and direction from Your wellsprings of hope.