In Bethlehem, long before …

A stranger poor, she could but glean,
on charity dependent,
her faithful kindness had been seen,
received reward abundant:
the master and his men made sure
she had their full protection,
on purpose left her gleanings more,
and shared their lunch provision.

This was in Bethlehem, long ago,
where faith in God had waned,
but Ruth, from Moab, came to know
Him, and his blessings gained.
That girl the godly master wed –
what joy at Obed’s birth,
and his descendant, far ahead
would be Christ, come to earth.
Tune; CMD
from the book of Ruth in the Bible


Promised long ago in Eden,
One to quash the devil’s scheme,
One to save the sons of Adam
– from rebellion to redeem.

Promised then to Israel’s nation,
to await, prepare in faith,
telling out to other peoples
– ‘Saviour comes for all the earth’.

Prophets warned them when they wandered
from their God’s good, holy ways
– always some were faithful, constant
waiting for redemption’s days.

In the East some expectation
of a coming King – some gaze,
noticing the special star that
over Israel shone, ablaze.

Tune: 87 87 trochaic

False Announcements!

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

The 2 advents

Christ’s advent changed the world,
and brought anticipation –
a second advent soon
for wonderul completion:
the end of pain and weariness,
the end of death and sinfulness.

The date unknown, we live
in constant expectation
of better things ahead –
for all will give attention,
and everyone will stop and see
when Christ arrives all-gloriously.

But many won’t believe
(and make no preparation),
their days drift on until
the day of separation:
for only those by faith prepared
will be for ever with their Lord.

Advent Step 8) Announcement to the Shepherds

Humble shepherds told the news,
by messenger who awed,
with glory of the Lord
shining all around:
good news of greatest joy
a Saviour born, he’s Lord and Christ,
a baby boy
in manger laid.
Wondrous sound:
Glory to God in the highest,
peace, God’s favour can be found.
Then hurredly they made
their way to Bethlehem:
it was as they had heard
– they spread the word
of what they’d seen and learned,
and praised as they returned.
(Luke 2:8-20)

Advent Step 7) Announcement to Joseph

Joseph puzzled,
message sent in dream,
child so specially conceived
by God’s Spirt is to be
Saviour of his people, he
will save them from their sins,
so Joseph was to name him ‘Jesus’
(which means ‘The Lord God saves’)
and as foretold, he’s ‘God with us’,
Immanuel, God now living human life,
and Joseph was to be his earthly father,
and mother Mary, Joseph’s wife.
(Matthew 1:18-25)

Advent Step 4) He will be called…

‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light … to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called …’ Isaiah 9:2-7 (and Matthew 4:14-16)

Those walking in darkness would see a great light,
Galilee would see the dawning from night,
a righteous Ruler would be born
freeing from oppression,
Wonderful Counsellor, perfect direction,
Mighty God, Sovereign with power
Everlasting Father, caring protection
Prince of Peace, peace in him, and in his kingdom,
eternally, righteously reigning.

Advent Step 3) Symbols

‘a Saviour has been born to you …’ (Luke 2:11)
‘Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29)

Who could be sufficient
human, perfect,
to bear the wages earned by all
who for mercy, pardon call – ?
animal death depicts the problem,
could not purchase human pardon,
underlined the heart condition
of guilt, defilement,
need of cleansing, substitution:

fulfilment by the One who’d come
God’s Messiah, Christ, eternal Son.

‘The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming.’ (Hebrews 10:1)