Monday, 27 July 2015

THE HOLY SPIRIT (i)


Over the waste and the depths
Hovered the Spirit of God,
Mourning the ruin and dearth,
Longing for life to respond;
Out of the chaos of Earth,
Something would answer His call:
Something would breathe with His breath.

A few selected servants
Gave a place on which to be:
A Samson or a Jephthah
Could not furnish lasting peace.
In even David's fervour
Rest could not be complete:
That needed Someone perfect.

But He could rest on Jesus
Sublimely and entirely;
There He could dwell in freedom
After His years of striving:
If that strife had been ceaseless
As Jesus moved towards dying
That Dwelling-place was peaceful.

Then the Holy Spirit came
Down from the ascended Man;
On the Pentecostal day
Many hear the heavenly blast
And beheld the tongues of flame.
Christ enthroned at God's right hand
This descending predicates.

Now within suited persons
Secured for God by the Lord,
He has acquired a dwelling
Replete with what He has sought;
Each is a holy temple
To show the God of glory
Being a home forever.

Now within the Assembly
Brought to the Lord by Himself
He can distribute blessing
Out of this place of His rest;
Here in peace he can relish
Growth of the Bride He indwells,
Fit for Christ to cherish.

Till as result of His work -
Making her suited to Christ,
Helping her savour His love -
She will conform to God's mind;
Joining their voice in one word
Spirit and Bride can unite,
Calling for Jesus to come.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

HOLY SPIRIT

But who has shown the Bride the worth of Christ
And led her to appreciate His grace?
Who makes His presence a reality
And quickens us, and strengthens us, and helps?
The Holy Spirit whom the Father sent.

Considering the Spirit’s patient work
In service to the Lord and to His bride
We honour Him; considering the end
He has achieved we bow; considering
The glory that is personally His
Although He has descended in His grace
We worship, And considering the love
Which motivates His industry, we love.

And He is with us in the Father’s house
Because He is the Spirit of God’s Son
And Spirit of adoption.  He has cried
Within us “Abba, Father” and thus taught
Sons how to speak - and given power to cry:
Give thanks to Him for making sonship real!

And for us to have access to the Father
Is a great wonder - we approach through Christ
And would not wish to come apart from Christ;
While we are strengthened by the Spirit’s power
And could not come without the Spirit’s power.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

PASSOVER

Outside is the blood
Smeared on the doorposts; inside
They feast on the lamb.

Friday, 24 July 2015

EARTH

Hewn forms; formations sculpted
Into grand beauties or grotesque grandeurs;
Softer mouldings ‑ curves and slopes,
Green with life; and the dark oceans
And white waters surging without
And springing within; crags, plains,
Swamps, meadows, savannahs, deserts,
Earth comprises. For man, carved
Arena of his actions, evoking
God's operations. God's flood
Clearing one scene conforms rock,
Water and soil to freshly construe
A place for the sons of men to be:
A place for the Son of God to effect
Purposes of God conceived outwith
Time, sin, earth and man.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED

Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe on God, believe also on me.  In my Father's house there are many abodes; were it not so, I had told you: for I go to prepare you a place; and if I go and shall prepare you a place, I am coming again and shall receive you to myself, that where I am ye also may be.  John 14: 1-3.

                              I

Let not your heart be troubled God reminds,
Our life is hid with Jesus Christ on high.
So, brethren, let us shake the ties that bind
Us fast onto things that can’t satisfy.
Our tears and sufferings may drag us low,
And make us feel devoid of hope or song,
But Jesus left us here a while to go
Prepare the perfect home for which we long.
Let’s hold onto this hope, though comes the rain.
Our Savior’s hands will soon remove our tears.
The memories of our trials won’t remain,
Just joy and bliss through endless, endless, years.
So put on joy for trials will not stay,
And live for Christ until this blessed day.


© Rachel Svendsen 2014

                            II

"Let not your heart be troubled", Jesus told
The eleven as He girt them for their grief:
Knowing their faith in God He could unfold
That He would be their Object of belief.
He told them, "In the Father's house there are
Many abodes"; He would prepare a place
Distinctly ours, above the highest star,
Where we shall be before the Father's face.

"I go", He told them, and the going meant
The cross, the tomb, the garden, and the throne;
He came alone; but through the way He went
The Christ our Lord did not remain alone.

For, taken from the scene where we have grieved,
It is unto Himself we are received.

David C Brown


                               III


Always there comes this parting of the ways
The best is wrested from us, borne away,
No one is with us always, nothing stays,
Night swallows even the most perfect day.
Time makes a tragedy of human love,
We cleave forever to the one we choose
Only to find ‘forever’ in the grave.
We have just time enough to love and lose.

You know too well this trouble in our hearts
Your heart is troubled for us, feels it too,
You share with us in time that shears and parts
To draw us out of time and into you.
I go that you might come to where I am
Your word comes home to us and brings us home.


Malcolm Guite

I was interested to see these reactions in sonnets to John 14.  Links to the other writers are:
http://rachelsvendsen.com/2014/11/11/sonnet-john-141-6/
https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/let-not-your-hearts-be-troubled-a-new-sonnet/

I have received Rachel Svendsen's permission to post here, and assumed that of Malcolm Guite.

Monday, 20 July 2015

CLOTHING

Marred by rebellion, which God loathed,
And cast out by their sin
Adam and Eve still go out clothed
By God in coats of skin.
So though we all display sin’s taint
By habit and by birth
We may go forth without restraint
Clothed in the Saviour’s worth.

The younger son was steeped in wrongs
God could not but detest -
The Father shows where he belongs
And clothes him in His best.
And thus repentant sinners find,
Though consciously undone,
God’s every act towards them is kind -
He clothes them in His Son.

Though merely human goodness drags
The priest’s clothes in the mire
God substitutes for filthy rags
His festival attire -
Outwith the range of Satan’s barb
We stand before God’s face
In pure and splendid priestly garb
Made suitable through grace.

The elders sit around the throne
Each clothed in robes of white,
Secured by God to be His own
And dwell with Him in light:
All thought of variation past
Through Christ they are complete;
They bow before the throne and cast
Their crowns before His feet.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

UNTIL HE COMES

Until He comes
Be faithful to His Name;
The Spirit's guiding as your sword,
Do battle for your absent Lord
Until He comes.

Until He comes
Announce the Master's death;
In deep affection break the bread
And drink the cup, as He has said
Until He comes.

Until He comes
Pursue the path of faith;
Pursue the way of righteousness
Faith, love, and peace that Christ may bless
Until He comes.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

AUNTIE LIZ

Dear Ingrid, you will never know
Your dear old Auntie Liz,
You’ll have no chance for her to show
Her sparkle and her fizz.

You’ll see her figure and her form
Fixed in a photograph
But you will never hear her warm
Reverberating laugh.

You will not have the chance to share
The days when she is glad;
Nor need to join with us in prayer
In days when she is sad.

You will not laugh along with her
At her own quaint behaviour;
His grace has taken her to where
She’s with her Lord and Saviour.

The One who promised He would keep
Her safe from fears and harms
Has gently nestled her to sleep
Within His tender arms.

Dear Ingrid, in this world of sin
To travel without scathe
Trust in the Lord she trusted in
And imitate her faith.


Written shortly after my sister-in-law's death - when Ingrid my granddaughter and her great-niece was tiny.