Friday, 31 October 2008


But in Jerusalem there was a man
Who waited for the King with open arms;
He was alert because within his heart
He kept the secret ‑ Messiah came at last!
Oh with what warmth he held Him in his grasp
While from his soul experience forged a psalm:
He saw the light for us who are afar
And envyless was full of jubilance;
He saw the glory this Infant would impart
To Israel though it be recalcitrant;
He was content that day should be his last
If, by the Spirit, he was Christ's celebrant.

Thursday, 30 October 2008


And at His birth the universe was moved:
Angels rejoiced in heavenly multitudes
While one proclaimed the blessing to ensue
For God and men, glory and peace and good;
The shepherds heard and gladly ran to view
The holy Child acclaimed King of the Jews
Whom they extolled with reverent attitude.
Even the heavens were active to produce
His special star at which the magi looked;
And at that sight straightway they were induced
To leave their homes to tread the stubborn route
To Bethlehem with gifts to contribute.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008


God sought a vessel in whom to work His ways;
By whom His Christ could become incarnate.
Mary was chosen ‑ as filled with God's own grace
To bear that holy Thing and give Him care;
For she accepted the message when it came ‑
Without demur she took her burden's weight
Giving no thought to the apparent shame:
What God required she willingly obeyed.
Then from her soul welled up a hymn of praise
To answer God and magnify His Name
Whose love and mercy Mary had proved so great
As He approached in glorious sovereignty.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Those who feared God and waited for redemption
For Israel would often speak together;
And God observed it and kept them in remembrance,
Regarding them as a peculiar treasure.
Old Zacharias maintained his priestly service ‑
Though faint in faith he offered in the temple
Partly prepared to heed the angel's message;
A greater faith Elizabeth presented
And she became a conduit of blessing;
Such souls as these gladly prepared to welcome
The Coming One affectionately expectant,
Within Judaea, an elevated setting.

Time for another wave of "Touching the King".

Monday, 27 October 2008


The Light appeared in darkness. Mercilessly
It exposed sin ‑ mercifully
Exposed the sinner.

If, at the wedding, natural joys
Faltered, with Him there
Real joys superseded.

If, by the well, she was
Dissatisfied, He could provide
Living water.

If, amidst Bethany's friendship,
Death intervened, into it
He obtruded resurrection.

Till even the power of death
Invaded by Him
Was transformed.

Heaven has received Him
And His presence there created
A prepared place.

And now my heart can be
By His presence.

Sunday, 26 October 2008


John asked for a place
On His right hand or left,
In the glory;
But Jesus preferred to give him
A place in His bosom.

Saturday, 25 October 2008


I am kissed, I am dressed,
I am ringed, I am shod;
I am chosen and blessed -
I am brought near to God!

Friday, 24 October 2008


Your fame lies in that you never
Missed an occasion ‑ from John's
Baptism to the Lord's ascension ‑
Unrecognised, not an apostle.
But always a disciple, always
Ready for the call to come.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


Zealots are not my style;
If the Lord in His wisdom ‑ after
A night of prayer ‑ chose such
As you this word is for me:
"Be zealous therefore and repent."

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


"...Not the Iscariote" but marked
By that name, Judas. No doubt
This led to your exhortation to
Contend earnestly for the faith
Once delivered to the saints,
To your outpouring to Him who
Can keep you without stumbling
And can set you before His glory.

Monday, 20 October 2008


"...The Less" you are presumed to be;
Much grace would have been needed to hold
Such a title; yet none the less you
Were endowed with apostolic authority
To say: "Brethren, listen to me..."

But was it that James?

Sunday, 19 October 2008


Like me, a taxman with a desire
To write well: even to write
Well of Christ. Perhaps I should
Emulate your total abandon
Of a whole way of life
To keep close to your Master's heels.

Saturday, 18 October 2008


It being easier to criticise
Than to praise you are famed
As Doubting Thomas; but
To me, who has also doubted,
This comfort comes ‑ you
First expressed the appreciation
Of Jesus, "My Lord and my the God".

Friday, 17 October 2008


No words are known:
No deeds written.
But, one of the eleven,
You supported Peter;
And your name will grace
The City's foundation, one of
The Twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

Thursday, 16 October 2008


Sufficiency was your theme:
Whether the body's need for loaves
And fishes or more spiritual need,
"Show us the Father". From this
Arose your prompt word
To Nathaniel, "Come and see..."
One sufficient for soul or body.

Monday, 13 October 2008


Consciously the disciple whom Jesus
Loved, you followed:
For you had leaned on Him
And you, in that nearness, had
Enquired: these features displayed
Such as continue to the end.

Sunday, 12 October 2008


Was the training ‑ one
Of the select: taken to the house
Of Jairus, the mountain of glory,
The garden of distress ‑ squandered
On the point of Herod's sword?
No ‑ you had thus formed in
Perfection heaven required.

Saturday, 11 October 2008


A fisherman's life ‑ finding:
Messias found, your thought
Was first to find your brother
‑ Earliest fisher of men.
And the boy with loaves and fishes
You discovered: may I have such
Divine serendipity!

Friday, 10 October 2008


First, Peter ‑ not only
First to speak, wisely
Or not, first to act
Most often rashly ‑ you
Were selected, the first
Apostle to see Christ
Risen; the first preacher
In the fresh era; the first
To invade the Gentile earth

Thursday, 9 October 2008


Lord, Thy praise exceedeth tongue or pen:
From our hearts an anthem swelleth
To the One whose grace excelleth ‑
Thou art fairer than the sons of men!

Thou art First and Last and the Amen:
Thou art throned in perfect fitness
Who wast here the faithful Witness ‑
Thou art fairer than the sons of men!

All Thou art transcendeth human ken
Thus Thy grace and glory raises
Worship, adoration, praises ‑
Thou art fairer than the sons of men!

Try singing it to, "Till we meet again"!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008



And how did Abel know how
To offer righteously? How did Enoch understand
How to please God? How did Abraham see
Christ's day? Or how did Moses judge
What was the reproach of Christ? Faith
Was their secret: by it they looked forward to
Christ, Leader and Completer of Faith.


Whence is the joy that stirs these people's lives
As if a harvest had filled them with delight?
What power has risen to obviate decline
And all the forces that caused them to divide?
Those walking in the darkness have seen a light;
Those dwelling in death's shadow have seen one shine.


After the time of concealment,
Necessary famine, or gloom,
His delight was to let them know
Himself, his love and his supplies:
Greater than all of secret dreams
These were what designated him
As the Revealer of Secrets.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008



Pullulations of plants, actions
Of animals,expenditure
Of energy ‑ all source themselves
On one centre of light and heat:
Hyssop and cedar, ant and man
Sustained in sap or blood, flowing
Because of one emanation.


Thus all the people found a man:
"Go to Joseph" was the king's counsel.
The great administration flowed
From the granaries his wisdom had built.
By this foresight, and this organisation,
He acquired the name "Sustainer of Life".


The Originator of Life having been killed
Out of that death whose power could not hold Him
Issues the life we dwell in now as His.
Death has no claim on those who are His kin;
The darkest tomb His victory has lit;
He holds death's keys and leads us out to bliss.

Monday, 6 October 2008


He found a man in whom his heart could trust
Who would accomplish each detail of the work;
Joseph was he to whom all men could turn ‑
He could supply the answer to their wants;
And so he named him as Saviour of the World.

As made perfect through suffering,
Suitable in every detail,
Holy, harmless and undefiled,
Tested and tempted in all things,
He has encountered the darkness,
The Leader of our Salvation.

See, it sinks in red splendour,
Invading the sovereignty of darkness;
See, it departs into the winter,
Leaving earth in its barrenness.
It comes, the morning looms,
Night's shroud is torn;
It comes, the summer brims,
Saved by its healing power.

Sunday, 5 October 2008


If love had led Him to the grave
For those whom He desired to save
Love leads Him as a risen Man
To serve in every way He can.
If one is grieving, in distress,
He comes to comfort - and to bless;
If one denied the Lord before
He comes to cherish and restore;
If some turn from Jerusalem
He goes their way to shepherd them.
But more, through all that He has wrought,
He comes with secrets of God’s thought,
Comes to the circle of His own
That there He should be freshly known.

Friday, 3 October 2008


A vine was before me,
Said the saint.
It budded and it blossomed,
Its clusters ripened into grapes
And the fulness of the vintage
Was all for God.

I went down into the garden,
Said the Bridegroom,
To see if the vine budded,
If there was something
Fresh, in response to Myself.

Should I leave my new wine,
Said the saint,
Which cheers God and man,
The product of His sunshine,
His husbandry and pruning?

I will go out and savour,
Said the Bridegroom,
Of the clusters of the vine
And the best of the wine...

That floweth straight,
Said the bride,

To my Beloved.

Thursday, 2 October 2008


For the support of such a grand creation
As God's own house only one Rock is sure
To uphold all God's structure and endure
Attacks and storms ‑ and Christ is that foundation.

There is one glorious pattern which alone
Can gratify God's heart ‑ not a mere plan
From which to measure, but the glorious Man
Who pleased God well: Christ is that Corner Stone.

As patterned on that Man we can be built
As living stones each into his own place,
According to the riches of God's grace,
Freed from the stain and penalty of guilt.

The work continues. Soon God will present
His masterpiece ‑ yet we already know
Enjoyment of it ‑ and that work will show
The Headstone, Christ, its finest ornament!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


He left this to no prentice hand ‑
The Master toiled, day upon day
Himself. Ages ago he planned
This vessel. See the splendid way

The light reflects ‑ that's since the ore
Was purified by Him. He used
Purification none before
Could have applied to it. He mused

On how the metal worked and beat,
Harshly, we thought, the basic form;
We wondered, seeing it complete,
Already structured to conform

To what was in his mind. But next
He tapped a gentler quicker rate
Till no one else saw how his text
Varied from it. But, consummate

In craftsmanship, unsatisfied,
He saw an imperfection here
Or there and deftly reapplied
His hammer. He would persevere

For hours. Till after beating one
Last perfect stroke he gave a deep
Contented sigh ‑ "The work is done:
This is a vessel I will keep."