Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

SHIPS


“I see hundreds and hundreds of ships

Sailing out of the harbour.”


But what ladings –

Precious gems discovered, emerald,

Ruby, sapphire, diamond and pearl.


Gold in its purity,

Silver refined; copper

Fired to value of gold.


Abundant spices, fragrant,

For their home-coming,

Myrrh, aloes, cassia…


Rich their sheets and tackle;

Billowing from the crosstrees,

Buoyant their pennons.


Tribute for their Master –

He comes from their destination

To their coming –

His Grace.


The first two lines are the last words of the poet George Mackay Brown.

Monday, 28 April 2008

HOPE

The world is dried.

Its hope has died.

But a new life has filled our gaze

In One who, to eternal days,

Will draw out earth and heaven’s praise –

The Christ, the crucified.


The world is cold.

Its life grows old.

But a fresh world has filled our view

Where Christ, the Holy and the True,

Through whom God can make all things new

Will always be extolled.


The world is grim.

Its lights grow dim.

But saints are singing with delight

Since Jesus Christ has filled their sight

Until the ransomed host unite

In glorifying Him.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

TRIOLET


Through the death of His Son

God has made us His friends.

What a triumph He won

Through the death of His Son!

All the work has been done

To accomplish His ends:

Through the death of His Son

God has made us His friends.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

GRACE


Grace sometimes was the sunshine

Embracing with warmth.


Grace sometimes was the rainfall

Driving me homeward.


Grace sometimes was the rainbow

Spectral with promise.


Sometimes grace as a shepherd

Led me to green pastures.


But grace sometimes was a judge

Admonishing me.


And often grace was a nurse

With pills or pillows.


Grace always was a witness

To the heart of God.

Friday, 25 April 2008

THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST


For three days

and three nights

the Father had care

of the spirit that a crucified Man

entrusted to Him:

And that spirit

was the Lord Himself.


For thirty secret years

and more than three in service

the Son of Man displayed

that attitude and compassion,

in dry paths and chill houses,

that we call

the spirit of Christ.


From the glorified Man,

because Christ, as Man, had acceded

to being sent by the Father

has been sent the omnipotent Person

who gladly bears the title

the Spirit of Christ.


Through generations

persons freed by Christ

to be His bondmen

have given the testimony

more by their deeds than their words

that they shine with the spirit of Christ.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

PSALM TWO


Once I was a gas-guzzler, belching fumes:

Grace has converted me to solar power.

I wandered through side-roads and cul-de-sacs:

Now grace gives satellite navigation.

My windscreen was translucent and shattered:

Grace replaced it, and broadened my vision.

My brakes could not restrain my headlong course:

Discs, pads, and fluid – grace replaced them all.

For my overheating engines and gears

Grace has abundance of coolant.

Monday, 21 April 2008

HEARING

For God will hear

The heavens in which His Son

Conducts the sons in praise.


The heavens will hear

The earth, where a new song

Swells from the blood-washed.


The earth will hear

The corn, and the new wine,

And the oil.


And they will hear

A new pulse in their liquors –

All is Christ’s sowing.


See Hosea 2: 21,22

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Saturday, 19 April 2008

CONVERSATION

Lord, let me light for you

A candle.

The wind will blow it out.


Let me prepare for you, Lord,

A tabernacle.

Moth and rust destroy.


Then let me, Lord, adorn a cross

With sapphires and rubies.

Thieves break in and steal.


So let me come to you, Lord,

Just as I am.

Accepted.

Friday, 18 April 2008

PSALM


I had crashed like all normal computers

But the mercy of God rebooted me.

Though my programmes were incompatible

He has linked me in grace to a mainframe.

Grace gave me a new hard-drive and software –

All I wait for is an upgraded screen.

Seeing my limited applications

It gave me richer functionality.

Where I had been merely a stand-alone

Grace connected me to a world wide web.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

PERFECTION

The perfect poem

Has the perfect theme

Perfectly expressed.


The best images

Meld in the best form

With the best language.


The best theme is Christ -

But what man could tell

The Lord's perfection?


The Holy Spirit

Indites perfectly

The worth of Jesus.


While divine wisdom

In babes and sucklings

Tunes perfected praise.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

THE LORD IS GREAT

Let songs of praise and wonderment be raised

To Him who, having suffered to atone,

Is seated now upon the Father’s throne –

The Lord is great, and greatly to be praised!


Waiting until sin’s impact is erased

The whole creation has been caused to groan,

But even now a song comes from His own –

The Lord is great, and greatly to be praised!


And when we see Him we will be amazed

Because of His delightfulness and grace,

And we will sing, as we behold His face throne –

The Lord is great, and greatly to be praised!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

THE SAVIOUR

(Sprung)


O praise the Saviour for His love –

But what is love? Touching the sick,

Weeping with the bereaved, feeding the hungry,

Washing the disciples’ feet; submitting

To swords and bonds; going alone

To face the cross. And going alone

To the Father’s house to prepare a dwelling

For us. And desiring the presence of His own.

What is love? All that the Saviour

Showed to us, and shows us still.

Monday, 14 April 2008

THE SAVIOUR

(Free)


O praise the Saviour

For His love


Is a husbandly love

Pleading with his unfaithful spouse;


Is a fatherly love

Gently taking my hand to help me walk;


Is an observant love

Rejoicing to see fruit ripen;


Is an alluring love

That speaks from His heart to ours.



Sunday, 13 April 2008

THE SAVIOUR

(Syllabic)

O praise the Saviour for His love

That has displayed heavens’ fulness.

Bless Him since He has descended

To demonstrate the heart of God.

He came into the world to die

And He came to fulfil God’s will.

How love shone at Golgotha’s cross!

How love shines in His present care!


Saturday, 12 April 2008

THE SAVIOUR

(Triolet)


O praise the Saviour for His love

That took Him to a world of strife

Where humans elbow, kick and shove.

O praise the Saviour for His love

That came from peaceful scenes above

And caused Him to lay down His life.

O praise the Saviour for His love

That took Him to a world of strife.

Friday, 11 April 2008

THE SAVIOUR

(Hymn)


Oh praise the Saviour for His love

Which made Him take on blood and flesh,

As come from realms which are above,

To bring men back to God afresh.


Love brought Him to a world of sin

Which held men in captivity;

He worked in grace to bring men in

To righteousness and liberty.


Love led the Saviour to the tree

To bear sin’s judgement and atone

That sinners might be just and free,

Secured by Christ to be His own.


Victorious through all He endured

He sits upon the throne above:

We sing, as those He has secured,

Oh praise the Saviour for His love!”


The first line is the first line of a fine hymn - that is suitable for a burial. I wanted to make it use it more broadly, since it is a very fine line. If the Lord will I will put other variations of this on in the next few days.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

GARDEN


He walked in the garden

To find company –and sin

Had nipped every bud.


He walked in the garden

With His own, but men

Bound Him and led Him.


He walked in the garden

And Mary was there

Like a half-opened flower.


He walks in the garden,

His enclosed garden, to enjoy

Buds, blossoms, and fruit –

Life according to Him.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

THE FATHER


Oh, what can we say of Thee, Father?

Thy greatness exceedeth our praise:

Yet Thou in Thy grace

Hast found us a place

Through Thine own ineffable ways.


We think of the glory of purpose

Before all creation began

That Thou shouldst acquire

What thou didst desire -

Thy sons brought to Thee in one Man.


We wonder at what it has cost Thee

For Thou didst not spare Thine own Son;

Thy love is displayed

In what Thou hast paid:

We praise thee for all Christ has done.


And Thou art the Father of glory

Whom Jesus rejoiced to proclaim

But we are drawn near

Where love casts out fear

To praise thy most glorious Name.


Thy power and Thy glory excelleth,

Thy wisdom comes down from above;

Yet wisdom and might

Secured Thy delight

Since both were subservient to love.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

ANDREA


Alive in every natural relation,

Alive in all the joy of life,

And, through God's operations in salvation

Amid a world of death and strife

She was alive to God.


But suddenly God took her from the duty

And joy of earth's relationships

One said she lay there "in her usual beauty"

As blood and flesh relaxed their grips

Alive to none but God.


And now the earthen vessel has been broken

With all the claims of earth;

For no one may refute what God has spoken.

Yet while we smart at death and dearth

She is alive to God.


She, with his saints, awaits the resurrection;

She, with his saints, awaits Christ's call:

She will arise, clothed in a fresh perfection,

Assembling with His saints who all

Will be alive to God.

Monday, 7 April 2008

IN CHRIST


In Christ God found

An outlet for His heart

Through which in love He might impart

Grace which will through eternity abound


In Christ God found an inlet to my heart

To funnel love which every day

And through eternity

He will impart.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

JESUS IS MY SAVIOUR




Jesus is my Saviour, Jesus is my Friend,

Jesus is my Shepherd, guiding to the end;

Jesus is my Master, Jesus is my Lord,

Jesus is my Shield and very great Reward;

Jesus is my Sunshine, Jesus is my Day,

Jesus is my Leader in the heavenly way.


Do you know the Saviour? Do you have a Friend?

Do you know the Man on whom you can depend?

Do you know the Master? Do you call Him Lord?

Are you bound to Jesus by faith's eternal cord?

Do you walk in sunshine? Do you know the day

Which goes and brightens to eternity.


He will be your Saviour if you trust in Him:

He will give you sunshine which will never dim;

When you know the Master, when you know the Lord

You with those who love him will sing with one accord:

"Jesus is my Saviour, Jesus is my Friend,

Jesus is my Shepherd guiding to the end!"

Saturday, 5 April 2008

ALLELUIA


Alleluia to the Saviour!

Bless the glorious Name of Jesus;

Come before His throne with gladness,

Do Him homage for His greatness.

Everlasting praise will echo

For the Firstborn of creation,

God's anointed Priest and Prophet,

Heaven's Centre of affection,

Israel's Monarch and Messiah,

Judah's Prince and Sprout of Glory,

King of kings and Prince of princes,

Lord of lords and Head of all things!

Men of every tribe and nation,

Nurtured in that splendid kingdom

Open wide their mouths in anthems

Praising Jesus their Redeemer.

Queenlike His beloved assembly

Raptured by her Bridegroom's beauty

Sits upon His throne beside Him.

Thousands upon thousands bring Him

Universal acclamation;

Victory is accorded to Him,

Worshippers are bowed before Him,

Xenia presented to Him:

Young and old in happy chorus

Zealously sing - Alleluia!

Friday, 4 April 2008

SENSES


Blest Spirit, help increase my appetite

For Jesus whom Thou dost present as food;

I long to savour more of this delight

Since I have tasted that the Lord is good.


Thou didst, blest Spirit, open up my ear

To hear the Saviour when I was astray;

Help me to listen and have ears to hear

Thy word to the assemblies day by day.


Though Moses died His eyesight did not dim -

O Spirit of the Lord control my sight

That with my eyes exclusively on Him

My body always may be full of light.


The Lord of life has touched me in my need:

He lifted me and set me up through grace -

Blest Spirit, help me handle well I plead

The substance of this elevated place.


A life entirely for the Father's will

And death entirely to the Father's mind

Rose as a fragrance - may, blest Spirit, still

Such fragrance rise from those Thou hast refined.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

ANOINTING


Because she knew that Jesus was distinctive

The woman broke the flask of alabaster

And with a gesture lovingly instinctive

Poured out the precious nard upon the Master.


Because His glory passed their comprehension

Since they embraced an older dispensation

The woman's tender deed evoked dissension

From even those selected from the nation.


Because her action proved she apprehended

The way He went and answered His affection

He spoke as her Defender and commended

Her deed as right for constant recollection.


Lord, help us in our deeds as we aspire

To answer to Thyself and Thy desire!


Wednesday, 2 April 2008

PEOPLE OF GOD

Their meeting has no steeple;

Their preacher has no cope;

This world's great names

Assert no claims -

They have a better hope:

Wonderful, wonderful people

Wonderful people of God.


With heavenly behaviour

They praise with one accord

Their hearts unite

With great delight

For Jesus is their Lord:

Wonderful, wonderful Saviour

Wonderful Saviour from God.


Their heart has One to stir it

To answer to Christ's love

Their anthem swells

For in them dwells

The Spirit from above:

Wonderful, wonderful Spirit,

Wonderful Spirit of God.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

SHEPHERDESS

Around us are our tender flock

Within this howling wilderness;

Under the shadow of the Rock

Care for them with me, Shepherdess.


As shepherds must we'll guide their feet

Amid the desert's brokenness

To where the gentle grass is sweet:

Care for them with me, Shepherdess.


We'll keep them near the water's flow

Whilst all around is barrenness;

While by its glassy streams they grow

Care for them with me, Shepherdess.


Teach me, as Rachel must have taught

Jacob, to heed their tenderness

In case the lambs are overwrought:

Care for them with me, Shepherdess.


A greater Shepherd guides above

Our ignorance and bruckleness;

Under the shelter of His love

Care for them with me, Shepherdess.