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
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘You will be with child …’ Luke 1:31
eternal King of human birth,
Spirit Holy bringing forth;
Mary willing, serving,
humble, no thought she was deserving,
glorified her Saviour,
for all his grace and favour.
‘I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.’ ‘In the desert prepare the way for the LORD.’ Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3
A promised messenger to speak, prepare
the way before the coming King,
a calling voice, out in the wilderness,
‘Get ready, turn to him,
bear fruit that show repentance,
to welcome his appearance.’
‘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.
‘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
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)
Two and a half millenia ago
Christ’s coming was foretold,
that out of Bethlehem would come
a Ruler strong who’s from of old
from everlasting come to care,
to Shepherd those from all our sphere
who’ll be his flock, and follow, share
his peace, his majesty revere.
And so those wise who came from far
to find the newborn king, whose star
they’d seen, the prophet’s words were told,
– went on to Bethlehem with their gold.
‘But you, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, though you are small … out of you will come for me, one who will be ruler … whose origins are from of old , from ancient times. …shepherd his flock … he will be their peace’ Micah 5:2-5
‘He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel’ Genesis 3:15
That Tempter with his scheme of hate
by human Son at coming date
would have his despot power crushed,
the cruel grip of his deceit,
and slavery – complete defeat.
Though their descendant would be hurt,
he would be Victor: trust, await.
Rebellion’s consequences brought
them trouble, sparked contrition;
decisive battle would be fought
bring glorious resolution;
immediately new life, relief,
but full escape from damage, grief
would come, eternal transformation,
when tidings glad have been proclaimed:
by some received, by some disdained.