To Jesus they brought
this one they had caught
in breaking the law –
Christ came to restore
those sorry for sin,
so they could begin
a new life with Him,
For her they did not
have care, not a jot,
their aim was to trip
make Jesus to slip,
so they could detect
for law disrespect,
and undermine grace
that covers disgrace.
They all crept away,
for no-one could say
he’d never done wrong
through all his life long.
can other sins hide.
The test had spun round –
and what had they found?
He didn’t condone,
nor did he condemn;
his mission to save,
and now can forgive
if guilt we admit
desiring to quit,
rebellion to leave;
repent and receive.
Tune: 10 10 10 10 but can be sung to some 10 10 11 11 tunes eg
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
“Worship” can be worthless noise
in God’s ears; he will despise
ostentatious singing vain,
just lip-service brought again –
looks for love of righteousness
helping others in distress.
Some hope that a formal show
when to church, bored, choose to go,
hope it earns a future heaven –
sins acknowledged, sins forgiven
in Christ Jesus is the way,
loving justice, truly pray.
Many things can take my heart,
keeping me and God apart:
tune my lips to sweet aroma,
adoration of the Saviour,
justice rolling like a river,
righteousness pours forth for ever.
“I hate, I despise your religious feasts … Away with the noise of your songs … But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream” Amos 5:21,23,24
Tune: 77 77 77 eg Dix (tune of ‘As with gladness men of old’)
God himself who formed the stars
loves me, truly loves me!
Sent his Son, his dear Son
bearing scorn to save me!
Melts my heart and fires my soul:
loving him, my Lord, my all!
God loved me before the stars
all were fashioned by him.
He will love me beyond time
– sight will swell my praising:
There I’ll fully taste and see
all his love and majesty.
[Tune: 76 76 77 but can be sung to England’s Lane (tune of ‘For the beauty of the earth’ which is 77 77 77 ) or Liebster Jesu by Johann Rudolph Ahle (tune of Blessed Jesus, at Thy word’’ which is 78 78 88, and needs linking crochets to minims – ie two long syllables, not four brief ones – at the beginning of lines 2 and 4!)]
Seek peace with all, but not with sin
or evil conversation;
respect and friendship try to win,
but don’t condone corruption.
Seek holiness in all your life
or God you will be grieving:
avoid censoriousness and strife –
be courteous, none deceiving.
Be resolute for right, but meek –
without his aid you’ll fail him,
but with his help, though frail and weak,
good will succeed, prevailing.
Christ died upon the cross to pay
our debts for all our failures,
now our delight is in his Way,
he mends our flawed behaviours.
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord”. Hebrews 12:14
Tune: 87 87 iambic eg Dominuw Regit me (tune of ‘The King of love my Shepherd is’)
They wail in anger, misery,
‘God is unjust’, they say,’
‘He does not help, or care for me’,
and yet, they do not pray.
They’ve strayed aside, not turned to him,
their hearts are far away,
have no concern to leave their sin,
self-centred every day.
Trust many things – they flit and fly,
just like a wandering dove,
on various things they lean, rely,
won’t come to God for love.
“Return, return!” ‘Forgive, Receive
us, we’ll no longer trust
the crumbling helps that fail and grieve –
in grace we’ll be so blest.’
(cf Hosea 7:11-14; 14:1-4)
To whom to go if leaving You?
who else to know, who else can do
the needed things to wipe away
our guilt and sins so that we may
have God as Friend and Father wise
to love, defend, and wipe our eyes.
They came to see You feed and heal.
You came to be our Saviour real.
They want a King to free the land,
and do their ‘thing’ and make them grand:
not keen to hear rebukes to guide,
Your truth so clear, serve at Your side.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:67-69
Tune 88 88 88 eg Melita (tune of ‘Eternal Father strong to save’ or Motzart (Isaac) (tune of ‘We have not known Thee as we ought’) or ‘Solid rock’ (tune of ‘My hope is built on nothing less’
Adverts suggest that we never could be
happy without some new gadget we see,
kitchen transformed, or a new swell settee:
thrilling, exciting us briefly, maybe.
Day after day we enjoy tasty food,
pleasure in countryside, friends do us good.
Yes, there are troubles, but still much to cheer –
life in God’s world is not grey or austere.
Perfect the joy in God’s fellowship sweet,
dressed for His presence, protection complete,
beauty adorning, accepted, embraced –
in Jesus’ righteousness fully encased.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness. Isaiah 61:10
Tune: 10 10 10 10 eg Slane (tune of ‘Be thou my vision’)
The factories would close
on Saturday –
and so no smoke arose
the furnaces shut down,
the atmosphere cleared,
and they could see that far-off tower
as smuts and smoke,
our ears surround
which clog and choke
a day of rest and worship
can still provide
for mist and murk
to clear, subside
from mind and soul,
and we can view afresh
our aims and far-off goal.
A merry-go-round of monotony,
a chorus of cackling cacophony
– soul’s bellies a-rumbling,
and hungering, grumbling
– life colourless: strife, gloom and acrimony.
The gift that arrived that first Christmas
with promises that it could give us
what really can satisfy
– see God above ratify
– imperishable gift that’s so precious.
Amusements can give us a “sugar-rush”
– our souls need whole food that will nourish us.
We need to receive Him,
His Word to escape this world’s death-curse.
Our Father in heaven so holy,
may many more honour you wholly,
your good kingdom come,
your perfect will done
on earth, as in heaven, more fully.
We pray for our needs that are daily
so varied and sometimes our folly
brings need of your grace,
and tender embrace
– please pardon, for sins we are sorry.
We will not ourselves be unwilling
to exercise mercy, forgiving
each other, we need
that you wisely lead,
upheld in the troubles of living.
So help us the pitfalls, temptation
to see and avoid, give protection
from Satan’s designs,
his malice and crimes,
his subtle, perverting intention.