Thursday, 28 February 2013
As time drew on the Lord's disciples wondered
Where He would eat the feast as was His custom;
Peter and John selected from the others
He sent to find it and to prepare His Supper.
Simple directions He did not choose to utter
But careful words to prove that they were worthy.
They were to meet a person laden under
An earthen pitcher as necessary turning,
Accepting thus a spiritual adjustment.
Arriving at the house that he would come to
They were to tell the master what Jesus wanted
And he would show them a large room, ready, furnished.
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Before our vision the time approaches now
When for our lost condition His head must bow!
O Holy Spirit, guide me as I recount
The solemn actions, the holy solemn hours;
Feed me upon it and fill me with its power,
Teach me right feelings and let them be aroused,
And give expression that's lovingly endowed;
Exalt the Saviour increasing His renown,
Expand His glory and let it be announced:
While I inhabit "this tabernacle house"
Pray that Christ's splendour be radiated out
And help in keeping vows that in Thee are vowed.
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Men saw the rich donating from their riches
And thought them rightly proud of all they'd given;
The priests were glad to see them boost their system
Not knowing yet the time of their dismissal.
But Jesus watched and all their gifts diminished
When Jesus judged the motives of their giving.
He called His own to bring within their vision
The greatest giver, an under-rated widow
Who had not shirked dispensing all her living.
Though men despised her the widow was distinguished.
True judgment valued the one who men belittled
- Some trait of Christ, whose giving was exquisite.
Monday, 25 February 2013
He came from Bethany where were His lovers
Towards Jerusalem where there was spurning;
In genuine manhood the Lord Himself was hungry:
He saw one tree whose foliage was abundant.
Seeking for figs He found that there was nothing
And solemnly He spoke to it and cursed it.
Quickly it dried up so that the watchers wondered.
The tree was symbol of His own people's dullness:
They saw His grace and felt it was repugnant.
The best of flesh was found to be unworthy
Exposed to One who should have gained their worship.
He spent His strength but their response was nullness.
Sunday, 24 February 2013
The Mighty One had come within His temple:
None could resist the vigour of His entrance.
He overthrew the seats of the dove-sellers;
From money changers the house was disinfested
God's house of prayer was hallowed by His cleansing.
The scribes displayed their wicked preferences
And would have gladly destroyed Him or expelled Him.
But children sang - this was what God intended:
That men should know the glory of the Person;
And if their cries related to Christ's splendour
God loved to hear it - it was His intervention.
From babes and sucklings Christ's praise has been perfected.
Saturday, 23 February 2013
As Christ advanced to agony and woe
To bear my sins and for my sins atone
God's will ensured some recompense before:
Regally seated upon an ass's colt
Meekly towards Jerusalem He rode
Accompanied by crowds whose voices rose:
In acclamation they honoured and extolled.
They cried "Hosannah!", His status thus being owned,
The Son of David whom God will have enthroned.
They called on Zion to hearken and behold.
Had Pharisees ensured these mouths were closed
God would have drawn responses from the stones.
Friday, 22 February 2013
Ridiculous Zaccheus made himself
Out on a limb because he was intent
Simply to see the Saviour as He went.
But Jesus stopped which he did not expect
And called to him if climbing up he sped
“How full of speed canst thou imagine when
Our Saviour called he powder'd down again?”
He feared no fall but answered as he heard
And when Christ spoke rejoiced at what He said:
Glad, he prepared a place for Christ to dwell -
“A son of Abraham” his righteousness
Secured a welcome for Christ, at His request.
Thursday, 21 February 2013
Accosted by collectors of didrachmas
Peter was once again responding rashly
To prove the orthodoxy of Christ's reactions.
Probed by the Lord he found out, as he had to,
"The sons are free" - outwith the world's transactions.
Yet not to give offence the Lord dispatched him
Back to the sea and his accustomed casting
(Though not a net - no indiscriminate catches -
Since Jesus knew how strong the sea's attractions).
He would acquire one coin exact in value
From the first fish under God's sovereign action
"For Me and thee", the servant and the Master.
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Accompanied by three whom He had chosen,
Upon the mountain Christ sought the high remoteness.
And as He prayed in confident devotion
His countenance was changed and shone in glory:
Even His clothes shone as He stood before them;
Elias was with Him and also Moses.
Peter and James and John were soon awoken
To hear of truths to cause them to adore Him.
Even when Peter's words were rashly spoken
The cloud of glory drew its protection over:
Who could compare with Christ? There could be no one:
God has averred His excellent aloneness.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
As great crowds came to Him Christ was concerned
And spoke to Philip regarding food for them;
Although He was the answer in Himself
The Lord took Philip and put him to the test.
Andrew the finder had found a boy with bread
And two small fish, yet numbers overwhelmed
The feeble faith of all of Jesus' friends.
He took control - all sat at His behest
And having blessed in grace the Saviour served.
None could go hungry if Christ administered:
None could surpass the greater nourishment
Now made available through Jesus' death.
Monday, 18 February 2013
In consternation they felt the narrow keel
Buffet upon the billows of the sea.
Where was the Master? And could He help achieve
A safer place, or help assuage their fear?
Where was the Master? They found He was asleep;
Whatever squalls could not disturb His peace.
At His rebuke the raging waters ceased
And at His word the calm became complete.
They questioned in their hearts Who this could be
Whose voice the elements owned as supreme:
Although the Friend who granted them relief
In Person Christ could say "I, I am HE!"
Sunday, 17 February 2013
As the disciples followed Him through the fields
The presence of the Lord made them so free
They plucked the wheat and having rubbed the ears
Had liberty to choose the good and eat.
The strictures of the carping Pharisees
Were met by Christ who spoke of David's need
And how he took the shewbread from the priest.
Thus Christ announced the message of release
That He had come to foster and to preach,
Which His own rights and sorrows would achieve.
Lord of the Sabbath establishing our peace
He left the Pharisees to taste defeat.
Saturday, 16 February 2013
He came by night because he was afraid;
He was afraid lest he besmirch his name:
And yet it was to Jesus that he came.
He came to Jesus and there heard Him relate
God loved the world so greatly that He gave
His only Son by whom we may be saved.
But Nicodemus, unhappy, went away.
Among the Pharisees he bore no weight
Yet still was one of them, not separate
As sin advanced at an increasing pace.
Was he too late? - no, not too late for grace:
At last He came to help at Jesus' grave.
Friday, 15 February 2013
Consciously loved and leaning on his Lord
Who seems to us more spiritual than John?
Yet this was he whose fierce discordant thought
Showed he mistook the spirit they were of;
While his ambition was great enough to cause
Grave indignation and make the brethren wroth.
What changed the man? This was what grace had wrought:
This was what grace and grace alone could form.
Till at the end he lay within the warmth
In Jesus' bosom from whence to draw upon
The power to make him fit to meet the call
To care for Mary from Jesus on the cross.
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
When Jesus first encountered Simon Peter
He saw him as a stone and named him Cephas;
But it took years of Christ's own patient dealings,
With tenderness, and close and careful teaching,
Before there was a sign of stone appearing.
Adjusted by the graciousness that reached him,
Adjusted by rebuke when it was needed,
Adjusted by the Father's jealous speaking,
Peter began displaying rocklike features;
Yet this was he who, like me, being devious
Denied his Lord and learned the grace of Jesus
Which bore him through the time of bitter weeping.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
"Have I not chosen you?" the Master said
To His disciples, His own selected twelve,
Before whose choice He prayed one whole night's length;
"Of you one is a devil", He had to tell.
"Mine intimate" and "My familiar friend" -
By words like these Judas had been addressed
And with what sorrow the Saviour was oppressed
To see a man, partaker of His bread,
Come with the band, betraying at the end.
As Judas kissed Him Christ did not love him less,
Calling him "Friend" in painful consciousness
That Judas moved towards a Christless death.
Monday, 11 February 2013
At Jesus’ feet she listened to His word,
Her heart distracted from merely human work;
At every syllable her soul concurred
And, as she heard, profound affection burned.
But when she mourned her brother Lazarus
Down at Christ's feet, prostrated in the dust,
She showed Christ was the one to whom to turn
When grief impinges or when the way is rough.
Experience formed an ointment of great worth
To soothe His feet since Mary had begun
To know within her heart what would be done
Upon the path that led Him to the curse.
Sunday, 10 February 2013
What better name than “Lazarus our friend”?
Here was a man who knew the Saviour bless
And knew the love of Christ the Lord himself
And Christ's companions, His chosen men.
Yet their affection and care could not divert
The final enemy, the force of death.
Seeing that force with all its dire effects,
Bearing it in His spirit, the Saviour wept.
His resurrection rights moved to attest
He was the Son of God with power on earth.
Lazarus raised was early evidence
The final foe, like all foes, will be quelled.
Saturday, 9 February 2013
When at first Martha served she was distracted
She scurried to the larder then to the pantry,
Ducked out to gather some salad from the garden,
And starting anxious she quickly ended angry
"Dost Thou not care?" she boldly chid the Master
But had from Him a mild rebuke as answer.
His patience worked and through the dire disaster
Upon the family Christ's great compassion
Reforged her spirit to be a greater Martha;
If still she served with undiminished ardour
Her ordered service was not alloyed with rancour
Since Christ, not self, was object of her actions.
Friday, 8 February 2013
But there were some rejecters of His words
Who saw His grace and arrogantly spurned
God's way to life, Christ and His moral worth.
Grace is not grease - the Lord did not demur
But faithfully condemned them and their lusts:
He named them clearly, condemned their evil works,
And warned them of their end should they not turn.
Christ came in mercy and many knew His love
Yet to opposers His language was robust
While He gave answers that they could not rebut..
He hid from them the glories of the Son
When they neglected the One who was to come.
Thursday, 7 February 2013
She came with needs bearing her water pot;
She came with sins conscious that she was lost;
She came with shame about her guilty walk;
She found a Stranger who understood her lot;
She found a Saviour prepared to bear the cost;
She found a Friend prepared to join in talk:
What collocutors, the woman and the Lord!
What conversations that boldly ranged across
The satisfaction that Jesus spread abroad,
The woman's guilt and all the ill she wrought,
True worshippers and their approach to God,
And the great secret of who the Stranger was.
Wednesday, 6 February 2013
She came with tears to wash her Saviour's feet
And if her sins were cause for her to weep
So was the coldness shown by the Pharisee;
She came with hair to wipe her Saviour's feet
To show how much His footsteps were esteemed
Though Simon treated the Master as the least;
She came with lips to kiss the Saviour's feet
Because Christ made her happiness complete;
She came with myrrh, to balm the Saviour's feet,
Since instinct told His was a path of grief;
She came to kneel beside the Saviour's feet:
She went forgiven, trusted to go in peace.
Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Another thing with which John was delighted
Was what was known and spoken about abiding.
On Christ abode the Spirit, undivided,
And the disciples began with the enquiry
Where He abode, wishing to be beside Him.
Christ's desire was that those who were enlightened
Abide in His own word without repining;
Unless each one, regarded as a vine-branch,
Abides in Him no fruit will be provided
And there is promised a place of God's designing
- An area of joy without confinement -
Within the Father's house, assured by Christ's place.
Monday, 4 February 2013
John, the beloved, delights in mulling over
The Son of God in all His matchless glory,
Who has distinctions beyond the creatorial.
He was before all and He Himself disposed it
But as a Man, appearing as the Logos,
He has this glory - a father's son, his only;
In contemplation His lovers could behold it.
Embodying more than was framed by Moses,
Both grace and truth appear for us who know Him.
Some recognized He came from God, as holy,
And as they learned Him rejoiced and were adoring:
Yet saw Him wash their feet, stooped down before them.
Sunday, 3 February 2013
Luke also writes about the many daughters
And only in his word are some recorded.
Elizabeth whose lineage was Aaronic
Or aged Anna who was sublimely godly.
Against this background others were soon responding:
In power of faith relieved of her disorder
One testified when her Redeemer called her;
One was released whom Satan had contorted;
While several, bowed with the greatest sorrow,
Heard the Lord's word as He approached the horror -
He gave them sympathy despite the ordeal
That shortly on the cross He would bear for them.
Saturday, 2 February 2013
The Son of Man - that is Luke's presentation:
He came on man's behalf preaching salvation
And as our Model in everything was faithful,
Touching men's needs and always being gracious.
We see the Man as a dependent prayer
Within the confines of what was His creation;
We see Him magnify God's glorious greatness
Bringing God's power to meet man's deprivation;
Bringing God's grace to meet man's degradation.
And as a Gentile Luke loves anticipating
Grace opening to all us of the nations:
Not one excluded; each one can claim their Saviour.
Friday, 1 February 2013
Mark also shows Christ as a Man of feeling
Who perfectly knew all emotions deeply:
Distressed to find men hard and unbelieving;
He was indignant when children were mistreated;
He groaned to see amid effects of evil
The piteous man who was deprived of hearing
And spoke the word emotionally in Hebrew.
Till in the garden oppressed and sorely grieving
His spirit bore what He would soon bear really;
While His disciples could not refrain from sleeping
The Lord endured, advancing undefeated.