Sunday, 31 January 2010

ARM

I am plucked
From the swelling sea
Through the long arm
Of His mercy.

I am carried
Through the wilderness
To His own house
By the strong arm
Of His grace.

I am embraced
Into His house
By the warm arm
Of His love.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

ONLY JESUS

No one lived as Jesus lived
For He never once demurred
When He knew the Father's will;
Since His joy was to fulfil
All the details of God's word
No one lived as Jesus lived.

No one died as Jesus died
Since, despite the public shame,
He was shown to be God's Son;
And because His work was done
While He glorified God's name
No one died as Jesus died.

No one rose as Jesus rose
Since the glory of God's might
Brought Him scatheless from the grave;
Since He came with power to save
And emerged through His own right
No one rose as Jesus rose.

No one saves as Jesus saves,
For eternity and time,
To the uttermost extent;
Since in graciousness He went
To atone for every crime
No one saves as Jesus saves.

No one loves as Jesus loves
For He laid down His own life,
And He shed His blood for me;
Since He would not go out free
For His Master, children, wife
No one loves as Jesus loves.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Thursday, 28 January 2010

INAUGURATION

He took the loaf ‑ an object which He found
Conveniently for His desire and time;
And made its emblematic truth resound ‑
The banal, at His hand, became sublime.

He took the cup ‑ an object which He found,
Ready to hand, in a convenient place.
His touch made its symbolic truth redound
In praise that answers God's majestic grace

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

ORBITS

I am no wandering star
Headlong moving with levity
To destruction.

But I can move in a vast
Elliptical orbit - glowing when near the Sun, cold
When a distant comet
At the fringe of attraction.

Help me, my Sun,
To be a planet ideally
Circling, heat, light, and attraction
At their optimum - where love
Have placed me.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

FANFARE FOR THE EARTH'S REDEMPTION

O!
Wrest
A bold note from the trumpet‑ Christ at last
Returns; with jubilation sound a blast
Prest‑
O!

I
Am
Voicing all beasts' joy in their lot ‑
Lorises, gnats, pangolins, hippopot‑
Am-
I!

A
Grand
Rejoicing echoes, loud and resonant,
From antelope, flea, dolphin, elephant,
Pand‑
a!

Monday, 25 January 2010

PLANTS

From the gnarled bush
Only another thorn: “Away with
This man!”

One quickly-fading leaf
From a dry tree: “I find no fault
In this man.”

But, in the rocks, a miracle -
One perfect bloom: “Have nothing to do with
That righteous man”.

Or from a dying thorn-tree
One tender flower: “This man
Has done nothing amiss.”

A stark tree puts out
One bud - “This man
Was just!”.

It blossoms:
“Truly this man
Was Son of God”.

A plethora of colour
Burgeons - “God has made this Jesus
Both Lord and Christ”.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

TRIOLET

God has met the sin of man
In the giving of the Son.
To fulfil His glorious plan
God has met the sin of man .
Love before the world began
Knew the victory Christ has won;
God has met the sin of man
In the giving of the Son.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Friday, 22 January 2010

VIRUS

So what was He thinking as He created
The AIDS virus? First, of course,
Of that benign purpose known to Him only
In the scansion of creation - to which it may
Revert in the world to come. But also of the ways
In which its terrors would apply in the time
Of the felled species (the contorting
Virus itself morally unfallen), His skill
Would make it the scalpel to sever
Saints from their sins; the knife to slash
Sinners from their sins - each particular
In the operation required. Grace, ready for all,
Would inject after the virus for many;
For many the death would expel from burgeoning sin.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

WORK

I sought to answer to the Lord's command
To work for Him ‑ immediately Pride
Came puffing up and told me, "Make it grand
So that your reputation will abide".
But what was said by Simpleness‑of‑Eye?
"Look steadfastly on Christ who is on high."

Now Self came rushing forward to agree
With Pride; and fearful, said "Don't be a fool
And risk there being any harm to me:
Beware you do not use a two‑edged tool!"
But what was said by Simpleness‑of‑Eye?
"Look steadfastly on Christ who is on high."

Stiff‑necked Legality next sought my ear
Suggesting, with stentorian demand,
That I should labour only in his fear
And let his iron talon guide my hand.
But what was said by Simpleness‑of‑Eye?
"Look steadfastly on Christ who is on high."

Ease yawned and said "Forget the word of truth ‑
Or maybe leave it for another day",
While Pleasure called to me, with Lusts‑of‑Youth,
To try to show a more convenient way.
But what was said by Simpleness‑of‑Eye?
"Look steadfastly on Christ who is on high."

O Holy Spirit, help that I may be
A workman who has not to be ashamed,
Without distraction as empowered by Thee
And building so that Jesus is acclaimed;
Help me to say with Simpleness‑of‑Eye,
"Look steadfastly on Christ who is on high."

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

PLACES

Lying in a manger
Has been found
Christ the Lord.

He has gone to the Jordan
And heard there a sound
Acclaiming from heaven.

He has been driven
To the harsh ground
Of the wilderness.

Upon the mountains He made
His disciples understand
The texture of His rule.

Returned to the plain
He, with strong tender hand,
Healed many infirm.

His voice from the ship
Brought to those on the land
The timbre of His rule.

He came to the garden.
There love constrained
Inexorably.

He came to the cross.
There the only Unstained
Bore sins, and grief, and pain.

They bore Him to the grave.
Death restrained
Till He dissolved its bond.

In the garden
One who one moment bemoaned
In the next rejoiced in Him living.

Among His brethren,
Those whom He owned,
Beheld Him risen.

Now by God’s right hand
Enthroned
Is Christ the Victor.

COMPLETE

God will complete all
That He purposed in His love
And He’ll include me.

Monday, 18 January 2010

JESUS

The Master made His people's hearts rejoice
Because they answered to the Shepherd's voice.

They learned through grace that He would not despise
The poor and weak, or turn away His eyes.

They came to Him with all their needs and fears,
Assured He would attend with open ears.

And it delighted Him that He should smell
The myrrh and nard which proved they loved Him well.

His hands had handled men in direst need,
So that through Him they might be healed and freed.

His feet were bearing Him upon the path
Towards Golgotha and God's awful wrath.

But ere the Saviour bowed His head to die
He uttered one triumphant mighty cry.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

GOD WANTS YOU FOR HIMSELF

Despite the greatness of your sin
And your unfitness to begin
To cleans the stains that are within
God wants you for Himself.

Because He wishes you to shine
In righteousness which is divine,
Which human will cannot refine,
God wants you for Himself.

To be a trophy of His ways,
Transformed by Him to show Christ's praise,
And render Him eternal praise
God wants you for Himself.


January 10

Saturday, 16 January 2010

ASCENSION

As far as Bethany Christ led the twelve ‑
Within their midst He raised His hands to bless
And in that manner they saw the Lord ascend:
And in that manner, they learned, He'll come again.
They were sent back towards Jerusalem
There to await the next sublime event:
The Holy Spirit coming at Christ's behest.
Meanwhile in heaven the Lord set down Himself
Upon the Father's throne in evidence
That all is done; and love is manifest.
Heaven assured a splendid recompense
While God assigned the richest diadem.

Friday, 15 January 2010

JOHN 20

His lovers gathered, the Jews barred out through fear:
This was an ambience for Jesus to appear;
Coming among them His word to them was "Peace!"
He showed His hand and side that had been pierced;
His risen presence brought His disciples cheer.
"I send you as my Father has sent out Me"
He told His own and having said that breathed
The Holy Spirit which they were to receive.
Thomas was absent and, having disbelieved,
The Lord, in grace, said "Bring your fingers here":
Thomas acknowledged the Person he revered
But missed the blessing of those who have not seen.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

EMMAUS

They trudged away, weary and disappointed ‑
Their hearts were sad, and all their hopes seemed voided,
But as they went an unknown Person joined them.
He listened to their woes and their sad voices
And when He spoke to them His words were poignant
As He disclosed the route of God's anointed:
That He much touch environments that were noisome
And die for men under His God's appointment;
Cross before crown could no way be avoided.
To linger with them they urgently enjoined Him ‑
Once He revealed Himself they did not loiter
But hastened to the saints their hearts rejoicing.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

MARY OF MAGDALA

From where had been the Saviour's head and feet
The angels asked "Woman, why dost thou weep?"
Without her Lord what was her life but grief?
The Risen One asked her "Whom dost thou seek?"
And her response was proof her love was deep.
Then He said "Mary" ‑ ineffable relief,
Unending joy, and homage were released.
Secrets of love the Saviour now revealed:
That He had brethren ‑ and Jesus had no need
To teach her who incorporated these;
That His own Father and His own God would be
Their God and Father through what He had achieved.



We'll have another four from "Touching the King".

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT!

In moral waste and emptiness
The whole world lies in night,
Ignoring God's desire to bless,
Repelling heavenly light.
Where could God find what He had sought?
Only where He, in Christ, had wrought.

But those who, by His work receive,
God come near in a Man
He owns as His, as they believe
According to His plan;
God has an answer to His thought
In men where He in mercy wrought.

Within them God displays that flesh
Cannot achieve His will
He breaks the bands which would enmesh
Through Sin and Satan still,
And shows what He Himself has brought
To being through what He has wrought.

Waiting as God's designs unfold
Vessels for Him expand
In their capacity to hold
Under His gracious hand,
That He may joy in vessels fraught
With treasure, through what He has wrought.

Oh glorious answer to God's ways
And all that He has done ‑
Men, giving Him eternal praise,
Conformed to His own Son,
Fit for a scene where there is naught
But God and that which God hath wrought.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Sunday, 10 January 2010

LOVE

Love worked to form a universe
That Men with Love should dwell therein;
Love worked in grandeur to reverse
The early ravages of Sin;
Love made, in wisdom from above,
A place where it could work in Love.

Love saw the depths to which Man fell
When he rejected Love for lust;
Love took the action to repel
The fallen Man Love could not trust;
But Love had purposed long before
To bring Man's soul to Love once more.

Love came to Earth to show to Man
Love's perfect way bring Man back;
Love, that had first conceived the plan,
Was subjected to Man's attack;
Love, that endured Man's works of shame,
Went willingly to bear the blame.

Love found some answer to the way
In which, through Love, it had come near;
Where Love had been in full display
The Few found Love cast out their fear;
Here though the many might deride
Love has where it may now abide.

From an ascended place on high
Love sent the power to link the Few
To its abode and draw them nigh
In Love whose touch is always new.
And Love has come to shed abroad
Within their hearts the Love of God.

Love welcomes us to its domain;
Paternal Love surrounds us there,
With Love to lead, Love to sustain,
Love for Love's own with whom we share.
Love finds its perfect rest above,
Enjoying those secured by Love.

And every day Love shows the way
By which the Few may humbly go;
And Love rejoices to display
Itself to them that they may grow.
Till with the saints Love takes above
We glory in eternal Love.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

KEPT

...Soon, in the Father’s
House, but now I am kept
In the Father’s hand.

Friday, 8 January 2010

WORSHIPPER

I have seen a man in weakness, like an old and windswept tree
Lacking all the polished leaves that once were there,
And he seemed to have no purpose, and no other cause to be
But to be, before his God, a worshipper.

You could offer him a fortune, you could offer him a throne
Or the best the world or nature could confer
And to him they would be nothing ‑less than all that is his own
And that makes him what he is ‑a worshipper.

As his family support him, like lianas that would bear
One from whom their earlier strength and stature were,
They behold him as an object of their tenderness and care
And their love ‑ but God beholds a worshipper.

If they stripped me to essentials, if they peeled me to the core,
Pruning things of flesh to which I can defer,
The rhetoric, and man's fancies, and my self, and pride, and more
Do you think that God would find a worshipper?


(Craig - That was PG.)

Thursday, 7 January 2010

MEMORIES

I remember the relish
With which, when preaching, my father
Would say
“The blessed God”.

I often heard John
Speak to his God and Father,
But one distinct word I remember:
“At-homedness”.

Twice I have heard Burton
Enunciate distinctly,
Giving each vowel its value,
“Be-ne-fi-ci-a-ry”.

If I could leave behind
One distinctive word
Of relationship with God -
That would content me.

Friday, 1 January 2010

A NEW YEAR HAS BEGUN

(for Marianne)

A new year has begun
In which to work and play,
To learn and to have fun
Throughout each happy day.

A year in which to live,
Enjoy life to the full,
Receive and love and give -
And even go to school!

A year in which to go
To Jesus as your Friend
As glad of One you know
On whom you can depend.

A year in which to rest
Within the Shepherd's care,
To learn that He knows best
And guards you everywhere.

НОВЫЙ ГОД НАЧАЛСЯ
(для Мэрианн)

Новый год начался
Чтобы работать и играть,
Изучать и иметь развлечение
В течение каждого счастливого дня.

Год, чтобы жить,
Наслаждайтесь жизнью в полной мере,
Получите и любите и давайте-
И даже пойдите в школу!

Год, чтобы пойти
Иисусу как ваш Друг
Как довольный Одному Вы знаете
От кого Вы можете зависеть.

Год, чтобы отдыхать
В пределах заботы Пастуха,
Узнать, что Он знает лучше всего
И охранники Вы всюду.

Действительно ли это - хороший перевод?



A NEW YEAR HAS BEGUN

(for Julian)

A new year has begun:
With each day as a station:
I'm sure it will be fun
To reach each destination.

We'll start to chuff along
Through misty, snowy weather
But springtime won't be long:
We'll all reach there together.

To summer and its sun
Quite soon the journey reaches;
We'll puff and chuff and run
To holidays and beaches.

If happiness should go
We'll chase him till we've got 'im
Till soon new winter's snow
Will supersede the autumn.

But if some sad event
Should happen - who will ease us
And mend what's crushed or bent?
Our great Controller, Jesus.

So if the track is steep
Or if it's flat and faster
We know that He will keep
Us safe, our Friend and Master.

Not quite so keen on railway engines now!

A NEW YEAR HAS BEGUN

(for Jane)

A new year has begun:
And round the shiny sun
Once more the earth will run.

Oh doesn't it astound
To know this solid ground
Is whirling round and round!

But nothing will go wrong
Although we birl along
Because the sun is strong.

And high above the sun
A stronger, greater One
Can care for everyone.

The world may pull or shove
But Christ who is above
Protects us with His love.

A NEW YEAR HAS BEGUN

(for Rosalie)

A new year has begun: soon catkins' tails
Will swing on leafless twigs; then pink and white
Mayflowers will dust the hedgerows; then the trails
Of Traveller's Joy will drink the summer's light:
But as the autumn comes we will be cheered
By hazel nuts and shiny crimson haws;
Eventually silk fluff called Old Man's Beard
Will wait to grace the cheeks of Santa Claus!

And you will change as well from day to day:
New growth, new dreams, new life, new things to know
Till in a year's time, in God's will, you say
It's been a happy year in which to grow.

Our work will all have been a good pursuit
If from the year Christ gains from us some fruit.



She's not so keen on natural history now!

A NEW YEAR HAS BEGUN

(for Catriona)

A new year has begun: after the years
Of human patience, folly and endeavour -
Salted with sea-spray, human blood, and tears -
Which had their spring-tide but have ebbed forever.
Fragments of lives, famous, worthwhile or dull
Strand on the shifting dunes we call "today";
We beach-comb through sea-sculpted drift to cull
Some shards we dignify as "history".

But through the moon-tossed sea and wind-blown sand
Pierces the Rock: we turn as do the tides
But Christ remains. We may not understand
Yet apprehend that He who now presides
Above the orb of time invaded time
In love that is eternal and sublime.

14 years later she's off with her family to India, still studying history.

A NEW YEAR HAS BEGUN

(for Rosie)

A new year has begun: and swells of change
Will surge behind and swirl around our boat;
As days move on landscapes will rearrange
And through grace only will we stay afloat.
Yet as our curragh rushes on we'll know
There is within a place we love to share
Since though the currents drive and torrents flow
We're nurtured by a wife and mother's care.

And up above the sun, in changelessness,
Provides a fixed point, rule, and warmth and light;
It constancy rebukes our fickleness;
It brightness warms us still and makes us bright.

Since God's great love in Christ casts out all fear
We voyage together through another year.


Written for New Year 1996.

A happy New Year to all readers. The first verse I read this year was:

"Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Jehovah, according to thy word", Psalm 119: 65. I'm glad to share it!