Saturday, 31 January 2009

CHRIST'S

"My body" ‑
The body in which He did God's will,
Through love's immensity, He gave.

"My blood" ‑
The blood of God's Own,
Displaying God's love, He shed.

"My sheep" ‑
For whom He laid down His life
Know His voice and follow Him.

"My brethren" ‑
Those He greeted on new ground
Instantly on His resurrection.

"My Father" ‑
He joyfully declared
Was also "your Father".

"My God" ‑
He could introduce
As "your God" too.

"My assembly" ‑
For which He gave Himself
He cherishes and supports.

Friday, 30 January 2009

"THE ANGEL TOUCHED MY THIGH"

(Gen 32:31, Hos 12:4)

I had the vigour of my prime
On which I could rely
In all my ventures till the time
The angel touched my thigh.

All things I gathered to my will
Whether by truth or lie ‑
I cheated shamelessly until
The angel touched my thigh.

I hobble forward like a tramp
Despite the dawning sky
Since, as I felt his bitter cramp,
The angel touched my thigh.

But I can garner richly now
A bountiful supply
And gladly testify of how
The angel touched my thigh.

I hold the dignity of prince
For that is God's reply
To all this world's discomforts since
The angel touched my thigh.

My composition which God taught
Could in no part apply
Nor could I freely bless had not
The angel touched my thigh.

Though once this lameness made me sad
God helps me so that I
Worship before Him and am glad
The angel touched my thigh.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

TRINITY

Our Heavenly Father
Measures blessing and chastening
With Fatherly care.

Before the Father
Stands our High Priest and Patron
Pleading His own work.

The Spirit of God
Guides and comforts, and links us
With heaven’s glory.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

THINE

We own, Lord Jesus, we are Thine
Since Thou art the Creator;
Of life and all God's vast design
Thou art Originator.

We own, Lord Jesus, we are Thine
Because Thou hast redeemed us:
Thy blood the price at which divine
Affection has esteemed us.

We own, Lord Jesus, we are Thine
As held by Thine affection;
Beneath its shadow we recline
To bask in its perfection.

We own, Lord Jesus, we are Thine
As those whom Thou didst gather
With Thee eternally to shine
As given by the Father.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

WONDER

The greatest wonder
In the world is the work of God
In the Christian soul.

Monday, 26 January 2009

RELATIONSHIPS

Lord Jesus, now we welcome Thee
At Thine appointed tryst
Since Thou hast chosen us to be
Companion's of the Christ.

As all of one with Thee, blest Lord,
Those Thou hast sanctified,
Thy brethren praise with one accord
And Thou art satisfied.

Conjoined in admiration here,
Thy brethren coalesce
For Thine enjoyment to cohere
In bridal pleasantness.

This was the joy that lay before ‑
Thy helpmate and Thy wife,
The precious pearl Thou valuedst more
Than even Thine own life!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Saturday, 24 January 2009

EXPRESSION

Since every moral attribute of God
And all God’s nature’s depths had been expressed
Upon this earth as Jesus humbly trod
In service, and the truth had been confessed,
The expression reached its solemn culmination
Upon the cross, through which we have been blessed,
And all that Christ expressed finds culmination,
And has repose, in Christ in exaltation.

Friday, 23 January 2009

ADMINISTRATION

Spoils of war,
Tributes of nations,
Tokens of affection - all
Safe under the hand of
Azmaveth the son of Adiel.

Store, where it was needed -
Not only in country cities or valleys
But in towers, was garnered
Under Jonathan, son of Uzziah.

Garnering needs tillage,
Ground working, skill and patience:
Over those who work this
Ezri the son of Chelub.

If Shimei cared for the vineyards,
The live trees and their culture,
Zabdi the Shiphmite applied
His knowledge to the preservation
Of the wine stores in the vineyards.

From the lowland’s fertility
Sprung sycamores and olive trees;
Baal-hanan the Gederite
Had charge of them.

Joash had a large responsibility
The fulness of the olive,
Cellars of oil.

For the herds in the plains by the sea -
Shitrai the Shilonite;
For the flocks in the valleys -
Shaphat the son of Adlai:
That the house of God and the house of the king
Might have rich supply.

Unclean beasts, the camels,
Unclean the Ishmaelite herder, Obil,
But mercy and need
Brought all into service.

Redeemed beasts, the asses,
Redeemed Jehdiah their carer
Since their lord had need of them.

And over the flocks, another
Subject of the sovereign fiat,
Was Jaziz the Hagarite.

“All these were comptrollers
Of the substance which was king David’s.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

ROUNDEL

Father, Thou lovest and how well
That love was shown when Jesus came
Here, among men of earth, to dwell.
Father, Thou lovest!

And here He has made known Thy Name
To those whom grace and love compel
To come to Him and own His claim.

He, by the Spirit, would compel
Our fervent voices to proclaim,
As with delight our spirits swell ‑
"Father, Thou lovest!"

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

THE LORD COMES IN

The Lord comes in to give His own
Fresh touches of His love,
Tastes of the favour they have known
With savours from above.

And He comes in that He may taste
The sweetness of the bride;
He comes to her in fervent haste
To bring her to His side.

And He comes in that He might bring
Saints to the Father’s sphere,
To share with Him, to hear Him sing,
To worship and revere.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Friday, 16 January 2009

LOVE WILL DO ITS BEST FOR US

Love will do its best for us -
Christ the Lord came near to serve,
Bore the judgment we deserve:
Love has stood the test for us -
Love will do its best for us.

Love will do its best for us -
Love has store of wealth and food,
Everything to do us good:
Thus will love invest for us -
Love will do its best for us

Love will do its best for us -
For the Spirit of our God,
In our hearts, spreads love abroad
As a heavenly guest for us:
Love will do its best for us.

Love will do its best for us -
In the Father’s house, through grace,
Jesus has prepared our place.
Love has made a rest for us:
Love will do its best for us.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

DOOR

When I come to the last door,
Which of you will come
With me? I said.

I will come with you
Right to the threshold, and kiss you there,
Said Family.

I, said Wealth, will come near,
Up to the entry.

Good Works, I said, will you come?
I am too bloated, he said,
For that small entry.

Flung on my knees, I cried,
Mercy, none will go with me.
At my call
Ready to go with me
Was Mercy.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

THE CROSS

Intensity of sin - for man
Spurning God's pleadings to repent
Inflicts all evil that he can
Upon the Man whom God has sent.

Intensity of evil power
For Satan, mustering his resource,
Assaults Christ in the darkened hour
With all his concentrated force.

Intensity of sin - the Lord
Takes on its power and hideousness
Until, beneath God's judgement-sword,
In love, He is made sin for us.

Intensity of love - the Friend,
Loving His friends, lays down His life;
Love leads Him to this savage end
For God, His people, and His wife.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

ASCENT VII

Tearlessness ‑ He will preside
Where not cheeks only but eyes
Will have received God's personal attention;
There, Minister of the Sanctuary, He,
Sweet Psalmist of Israel will orchestrate
Response. Under the King's direction
Instruments He has made will answer
To long years tautening and tuning,
To provide God what He first desired:
Amid the praises of His people ‑ a home.

Monday, 12 January 2009

ASCENT VI

Peerlessness ‑ whether the descent
To the lower parts of the earth, whether
Ascent above all heavens;
Or simply child, man, carpenter,
Preacher and sufferer, not one
Can compare: how rightly therefore,
His worth proved, He has the place
We could not give though knowing He
Deserves it ‑ accommodated on the Father's
Throne, coronated in His affections:
And among His brethren, those equipped
To surround His glory, refracting
To the magnification of His splendour

Sunday, 11 January 2009

ASCENT V

Fearlessness ‑ our Hero went
The downward track, face set
Steadfastly; unencumbered by
A great man's armour He advanced
Against both death and its wielder
In the name of God whose ranks they defied:
By death death has been wrested
Into His victorious hand. Shielded
By the Conqueror's shield, defended
By His sword, victors by His victory
We cleave to our Deliverer.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

ASCENT IV

Blamelessness ‑ what these hands
(Blessing, healing, suffering) did,
What the pure heart felt, what
The descendent mind thought, perfected
For priesthood, ascent to the mount of God,
A stance in His holy place. Hands
Filled, consecrated, from God to men,
To God from men He served ‑ to what
Extent? By the eternal Spirit He,
Spotless, offered Himself to God.

Friday, 9 January 2009

ASCENT III

Tirelessness ‑ season after season:
Ploughing the clogging soil (smelling
Freshness of clods); sowing good seed
Broadcast, tending, daily
Enduring that day's work, sustained
By the joy lying before, the vision
Of gold grain rippling in the breeze,
Foresight of the glory of the harvest.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

ASCENT II

Selflessness: always the sheep,
All wanderers and all in need,
Brambled, fallen, or sickening,
Occupied His days. Touching,
Searching and healing He cared for them;
Whatever the distance, the hour, the depths,
Like the urgent benighted fisher
He was on call and on duty. Tenderly
He bore the lambs; patiently
Led the sheep; constantly was door
To their fold: both in metaphor and fact
He laid down His life for the sheep.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

ASCENT I

Homelessness: Adam's condition,
Ousted from Eden, He took part in
From His moment of birth. A beast has its earth;
A bird its nest; even the sun its tent;
He had nowhere to lay His head.
He must pass by foot the land's length,
Becoming wearied, requesting refreshment,
His feet roughed by shards of stone.
Though always purposefully advancing to that ultimate ‑
Homelessness; friendlessness ‑
That through anguish for men He should secure
Never to be lacked, God's concept of home.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

THEIR GLORIOUS LORD

He came among them
Risen and living
Their glorious Lord
"And when they seen Him
They done Him homage"
With one accord.

He was their Saviour,
Their Friend and Teacher
Their glorious Lord ‑
He had encountered
In all its horror
God's judgment sword.

They stood beholding
As He ascended
Their glorious Lord;
God has enthroned Him
Giving Him honour ‑
His just reward.

And now we see by
Faith and the Spirit
Our glorious Lord;
And when we see Him
We do Him homage
With one accord

(Written on the day of death of an aged saint whose fervour was rather greater than his abilities in English - as quoted!.)

Monday, 5 January 2009

JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME

Men climb and fall. Each in his day
Rises on mounting waves of fame
Till the waves break in froth and spray
But Jesus Christ remains the Same.

From riches which words cannot say,
Because of His great love He came
Into the deepest poverty,
Yet Jesus Christ remained the Same.

From past eternity's sublime
Relations to an infant's frame
Within the range of death and time
He moved, but always was the Same.

Jesus could utter words of grace
Or in His Father's house declaim
Against polluters of that place
And still in all things be the Same.

Seen on the mountain clothed in white
Or in the scarlet robe of shame
He caused His Father's heart delight
Since every scene proved Him the Same.

Though He heard Peter own Him Son
Or in the High Priest's house disclaim
All knowledge of Him He was one
In mercy and in love ‑ the Same.

In love He reached the depths for men
And in His body bore the blame
For those who trust in Him ‑ but then
In death or life He was the Same.

But His arising power displayed
The justness of His splendid claim
That altogether what He said
He was, He was indeed ‑ the Same.

Peter and John, in faith, could call
Upon Him to restore the lame
Showing that though ascended all
His power and grace remained the Same.

Throughout the dispensation’s length,
Attacked by persecution's flame,
His own received the needed strength
In knowing Jesus Christ the Same.

They did not fear as dreadful power
Of those who merely kill or maim
But found the grace in every hour
That comes alone from Christ ‑ the Same.

The Lord knows those who own His sway
And every one who names His Name
Departing from iniquity
Proves succour since He is the Same.

Soon we will greet the glorious day
To which our longing spirits aim
When He will come to catch away
His own to find Him still the Same.

Then in the time of setting right
His power will make the nations tame
Till all will find in Him their light
And own that Christ remains the Same.

Throughout eternity His own
For whom he suffered will proclaim
No man but Jesus Christ alone
Is, was, and is to come ‑ the Same.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

MARY

Why wife to a carpenter? Although
The royal blood pulsed, the rights
Of monarchy existed, you husband
Crafted in wood; each day's labour
Used energy, skill and mind. Nothing
Derived from you or him imbued
That Child of whom you were mother.
But it pleased God in His ways to choose
The ambience you both provided; righteousness
Of your unwilling‑to‑expose husband,
Subjection of your spirit, soul and body.
You observed perfection in childhood,
Pondered signs and growth, retained
Thoughts, memories and affection till
You could act as repository to His church.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

ELIZABETH

The old man chanted his words,
Recited his prayer ‑ you were the real
Priest: believer in your prayer,
Griever in your lack, conceiver of
The chosen harbinger, favoured receiver
Of the mother of your own Lord.
And what a son! Of women you
Hold distinction as the bearer of
The greatest born of women. John,
Zenith of one dispensation, star
Of another issued from your tenderness
To harshness of desert, rejection, prison;
To ecstasy of friendship with the Bridegroom.

Friday, 2 January 2009

BATHSHEBA

Your first husband morally greater,
All ways a mighty man, your loss
And your dead child led you to value,
Especially, peace, your son Solomon;
Jealously you protected his interests,
Provoking your enfeebled king to grant
Immediate access to the throne.
Skilfully you chose subtle allies,
Priest, prophet and the commander
Of the king's bodyguard, men
Fitted by a great king's service
To inaugurate the new regime.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

HANNAH

Out of the anguish and your consolation
You shaped that: an experience
Carved into verse. Reiteration
Merely you disdained, distilling
History, agony and resultant joy
A psalm ‑ which I can use.
Beyond the actual your abstract truth
Was timeless, while your sense of time
Pervaded this as your other craft ‑
Making, annually, Samuel's coat,
A mother's intuition guiding your measures.
You had no doubt how each "this
Year" in Jehovah's house he would grow.