Sunday 27 January 2019


On this ascent David
Wept; but on this summit
David worshipped; and here
His friend Hushai met him.

All others going home
Jesus was here: alone,
But not alone, enjoying
The company of His Father.

The coigne afforded the Christ
A view of Jerusalem; a point
To which could come for prophecy
Four of His disciples.

In this vicinity Jesus found
The ass and colt; here
He was acclaimed; from here
He descended, and wept.

Having sung a hymn He led
To the place of anguished breath;
To the place of agony foreseen
Where the Father's will enthralled.

Next see a triumphing troop,
Disciples, returning from the Mount
Of Olive where they have observed
The ascension of their risen Lord.

And Messiah's feet will stand
On the Mount of Olives when He
Goes out to fight; this Mount shall
Be His people's way of escape.

Wednesday 23 January 2019


In His bosom there's
Room for you; but is there room
In your arms for Him?

Sunday 20 January 2019


"Had I an angel's raiment - fair
With heavenly gems unpriced,
That glorious garb I would not wear,
My robe is Christ."

Had I a worldly sovereign's food
All delicately spiced
I would not find its substance good,
My food is Christ.

Were a king's honours offered me
I would not be enticed;
Since He has died to set me free
My glory's Christ.

Had I the world and all its store
I would not be sufficed;
My empty heart would long for more,
My wealth is Christ.

Had I a monarch's lofty throne
With deckings rich and fine
That paltry place I would disown -
Christ's place is mine.

The first verse is from a poem originally in German by G Ter Steegen.

Thursday 17 January 2019


Doubtful, yet leadable, he joined a while
One who, since grace was poured into His lips, shone
In glory greater than once quelled the Egyptian,
From whom that grace meant he would not resile.
"An Israelite, in whom there is no guile",
Was Christ's immediate benign ascription;
He recognised himself in Christ's description,
And thus acknowledged it in guileless style.

And how much opened to Nathaniel:
The One who saw him and his fig-tree was
The Son of God, the King of Israel;

And life beyond old Israel's roots begun
To dawn upon Nathaniel's soul because
He glimpsed the glory of the Son of Man.

Thursday 10 January 2019


Christ has, in answer to His heart,
Without man’s work or gilding,
But glorified though heaven’s art,
A vessel of His building.

A vessel formed for His delight
Is what His glorious church is;
He gave up all, so that He might
Have it by right of purchase.

And she is His since God ensured
Christ should not be alone:
The counsel of His will secured
One fit to share His throne.

How great the joy which will be His
In glory at His side,
Because the Holy Spirit is
Her help, and strength, and guide.

Saturday 5 January 2019



What a cluster of glories:
Robed by his father
In purity of byssus, scarlet’s
Royalty, imperial purple,
Heavenly blue, gold …

He went forth from his father
From the vale of Hebron
Seeking the welfare of
His brethren; “Come”, they said,
“And let us kill him …”

He went down into the pit,
Stripped of his brilliant coat;
Down into Egypt,
Down into slavery,
Down, down, into the prison house.

Pharoah gave Joseph his ring, dressed him
In byssus, adorned him
With a gold chain!  He made him ride in
The second chariot.  And they cried before him,
“Bow the knee!”

What a cluster of glories:
Skilled in playing; valiant,
A man of war, skilled
In speech; of good presence:
Jehovah is with him.

He went forth from his father
Bearing food from his father,
Parched corn and loaves,
For his brethren. “I know” said Eliab,
“The naughtiness of thy heart”.

He went down into the valley
Of terebinths; down to the brook;
Down to the five smooth stones:
There in the ravine
He smote the giant.

Returned to his kingship, receiving
All that had been lost, he appealed
To his own, and David bowed
The heart of all the men of Judah
As one man.

What a cluster of glories:
The Son of His love, in whom
Is redemption; Firstborn
Of creation; Firstborn
From among the dead

He went forth from the Father
As the Man of His counsel
And He came to His own with
Words of grace and truth.  “This” they said,
“Is the heir: come let us kill him”.

He went down from the height of glory
To manhood; down to a bondman’s form;
Down to the death of the cross;
Down to the stone-closed grave;
Down to the bottoms of the mountains.

God has exalted Him, and will ensure
That every knee shall bow at
The name of Jesus; but now
The Lord has delight in
Hearts bowed to Him.

This follows from thoughts at


Read by rows or by columns.

Tuesday 1 January 2019


(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