While men invade, and loot, oppress,
there will be times of war,
but then in war’s confusing mess,
misjudgments, hate occur.
And often wars become log-jammed,
and none can see a way
to bring back justice to the land,
– some turn to God and pray
an overruling providence,
to somehow turn the tide,
and heal the hatred by his grace
that peace once more abide.
As we remember lives so brave,
the sacrifice and pain,
we praise God for the times he’s saved,
and answered prayers again.
We pray for those so hurt by hate,
need help to cope, live on,
and pray he will men’s schemes frustrate,
when evil is begun.
The young, the old, cash-strapped, work-stressed:
all everywhere aware
of void within, a cry, a quest
for God who is somewhere.
All see the beauty and design
in flower, bird-song, love,
and some reach out for help divine,
revering One above.
And when they hear the simple tale
of him who taught on earth
and showed his power, and helped the frail,
and clearly conquered death
they find he offers wonder gift
for each who struggle now
of pardon, strength, a real life-lift,
and purpose sure to know.
Tune: CMD eg Forest Green or Christmas Carol, tunes of ‘O little town of Bethlehem’
Seeking grace half-heartedly?
Value it appropriately,
appropriate it urgently:
famished, dying, parched.
None like that are turned away,
only those who want to, stay,
none but desperate people pray
– earnest, forceful, cling.
He will listen if you throw
questions hard and want to know –
grasp, and do not let him go
he will not reject.
On Ecclesiastes chapter
Birth and death, and peace and war
– life on earth flows back and for’,
laughter, weeping, hatred sad,
love and kindness making glad,
times of useful, skilled production,
times of damage and destruction.
Ups and downs, life circles, swings:
joy and anguish this world brings,
want to see what’s futile, wrong
all expelled before too long.
Can’t quite grasp a sense of meaning
‘til a promised purpose gleaning.
For the Maker’s spoken Word,
says he’ll deal with what’s absurd
– unjust ‘justice’ swept away,
judgement fair he’ll bring one day.
We were made for somewhere better
and can find it with the Saviour.
So we can enjoy our life,
even though there’s war and strife,
trouble, hurt, but much that’s good
– trust, enjoy your work and food.
All you can achieve gives pleasure,
but await full perfect treasure.
They asked him when he’d come again;
he said you cannot know just when –
only the Father knows the day.
So don’t be duped when people say
their own ideas, scripture twisting,
some special knowledge new insisting,
to give a date, absurd invention,
bizarre, unfounded speculation –
which just makes others sceptical,
that such an awesome spectacle
we’ll see one day – the King descending,
not as a Babe, but praise resounding.
So wait in expectation, ready,
with fixed anticipation steady,
and not (because of wrong predictions),
neglecting proper preparations.
“No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. … So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:36, 44
Autumn flowers, sheaf of wheat,
garden veg and tins of meat –
all reminders of God’s power
– he designed the fruit and flower,
formed their structure, every cell,
and each active organelle.
Awesome is the human brain
How much more can God retain!
vast his knowledge, presence, sight
understanding, skill and might
and he knows what’s wrong, what’s right,
shines into confusion, light.
Intellect that could declare
what’s occurring everywhere,
tells us of his plans to bring
judgment on disease and sin,
offered grace, redemption bought –
listen, heed his message taught.
You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13,14
Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Psalm 95:8
Tune: 77 77 77
Redeemed to live for him,
to love his laws that show
how to depart from sin –
immense the debt we owe.
our bonds have been cut through,
renewed desires of mind,
enabled good to do.
Now reconciled, with awe
we’re friends with God, agree,
and reverently adore –
from enmity set free.
Tune: 66 66 eg St Cecilia
One day in every seven days,
right from the world’s creation,
a pause from work for rest and praise
– a weekly celebration.*
Then Israel for one week each year
the exodus remembered –
out from enslavement, murder, fear –
the rescue by their Shepherd.**
Each Sunday let your joy resound
– our Shepherd rescued, and we’ve found
such cause for celebration.***
[*Sabbath **Passover ***Resurrection Day]
Tune: 87 87 (Iambic) eg St Columba, tune of ‘The King of love my Shepherd is’
Present needs can fill the mind:
Jesus says what’s best to find
is himself, and life he’ll give
evermore with him to live.
Life-transforming offer this!
on-call service do not miss!
help in struggles is at hand –
soon we’ll reach the glorious land!
Don’t just ask for daily bread,
him receive, and so be fed
in your soul with what will last
when these present needs are past.
So with thinking realigned,
following in deed and mind
fully his direction wholly
for all else is failing folly.
Tune: 77 77+ eg tune of ‘See amid the winter snow’ or 77 77 eg Nottingham, tune of ‘Take my life, and let it be’
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. … I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry … “ John 6:27, 35
Christ had compassion, not contempt
upon a leper, ill, unkempt,
He touched him – no infection passed,
but for the leper, joy at last:
from Jesus cleansing flowed to cure
the symptoms he’d had to endure.
A man was paralysed, his friends
who heard that Jesus heals and mends
all disabilities and pain,
approached the house – it seemed in vain
– they couldn’t pass the crowd, but then
down through the roof they lowered him.
First, Jesus pardoned him – some sneered,
‘That’s blasphemy!’, their thinking jeered
– he then healed this paralysis
(– one day he’ll right all that’s amiss):
he is divine, as thus he showed,
grace, mercy is by him bestowed.
Tune: 88 88 88 eg Melita (tune of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’)
(based on Luke 5:12-26)