Gifts Unvalued

Gifts “exchanged” and gifts “expected”,
grudging giving – price inspected:
some thus hope to buy esteem,
which they later can redeem;
some just want to give a token
as a sign of love unspoken.

God is not obliged to gifting
those forgetting him and drifting,
and we can’t placate, persuade
by a few good deeds displayed;
previous gifts have lain unused
or discarded, mocked, abused.

If we value love so great,
sense our very needy state,
long to live with souls repaired,
fellowship, much anguish spared,
then for ever with him live –
oh, receive what he can give!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Tune: 77 77 77 eg England’s Lane, tune of ‘For the beauty of the earth’, or Dix, tune of ‘As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold’

Mary’s Tale

By power almighty my son was conceived
before I was married – God’s word I believed.
He also told Joseph this all was his will,
for this was the way he’d salvation fulfil.

Then when he was born, and in manger bed laid,
some shepherds arrived who amazing things said.
So much I’d been told of the role of my son
– his future, I pondered on what was to come.

His ministry, labour would start in due time,
displaying, revealing his nature divine.
Soon after beginning to teach and prepare,
we saw, at a wedding, a glimpse of his power.

His brothers (all younger) at first were concerned,
could not understand him, but later discerned
his saving commission as Lamb and as Lord,
and my heart was bleeding as his life was outpoured.

He saw from the cross, and asked John to be son
to comfort me, caring as he would have done.
You know that from death he returned by God’s power;
soon leaving for heaven, we waited his hour:

We gathered to pray, for his Spirit would come,
on all who now realised my babe was God’s Son,
our Saviour who’d purchased salvation, kind Lord:
this news must be spread out around all the world.

Tune: 11 11 11 11 eg St Denio, tune of ‘Immortal, Invisible, God only wise’)
(cf for instance, Luke 1:32-35; 2:19,20, 33-35; John 2:1-11; 19:26,27; Acts 1:14)

A Carol

A birth by miracle – a son,
God forms within the mother
before her marriage union, one
who’s human and a Saviour.

See! See! the Son has come,
the only perfect Saving One.
Sing! Sing! the joy he’ll bring
to all who find our Jesus.

For God exists, and truly can
do what would seem impossible,
and no denial by mere man
can prove it is incredible.

Exclusive claim, unique, not my
opinion or invented tale.
Will you ignore it, or rely?
– his help will never ever fail.

It’s indescribable, we’re speechless,
for why such truth and kindness?
A real solution (for the helpless),
for death, and guilt, and sadness!

87 87 if with refrain Greensleves

Puzzlement

What child is this, foretold, announced?
His role-to-be, immense, pronounced?
What child is this, wise men revere,
but Herod’s filled with murderous fear?

Accepted, ordinary village lad,
and none claimed he was ever bad.
Then, when of age, he taught as none
had ever taught, his Father’s Son.

His kindness clearly seen, and power –
not ostentatious – [knew his hour
of wiping out all sin and pain
not yet], he faced ahead his main

labour essential, agony,
as substitute upon a tree
in dying there for you and me
so from sin’s wage we can be free –
and soon from pain, all misery.

What child to grow to do all this?
God knew we all had gone amiss –
A second Adam he brought forth,
a human child, but special birth,
to save those desperate on earth.

http://www.abctales.com/story/rhiannonw/puzzlement-ip

The King of kings comes to …

Imagine a most famous king,
rich royalty,
his people gladly serving him,
with loyalty

… would he his royal robes remove
for menial chores,
and, verbally abused, in love
clean prison floors?

To serve and save, Jesus was born:
he knew they’d kill.
The gift procured thus, will you scorn?
– he calls you still.

or

Imagine a most famous king,
rich royalty,
his people gladly serving him,
with loyalty –
imagine a most famous king,
with loyalty

… would he his royal robes remove
for menial chores,
and, verbally abused, in love
clean prison floors?
would he his royal robes remove
clean prison floors?

To serve and save, Jesus was born:
he knew they’d kill.
The gift procured thus, will you scorn?
– he calls you still.
To serve and save, Jesus was born:
– he calls you still.
Tune: 84 84 84 eg Wentworth (tune of ‘my God, I think Thee, Who has made the earth so bright)

Joy to the world

Joy to the world where kindness, love
so often faithless prove.
Our world is lonely, sad, in pain:
but bringing comfort, help he came
rich grace and life to give,
the barrier-debt forgive,
– the Father sent his Son to save.

Joy to the world, the angels sang, –
salvation’s glorious plan!
A baby born, a human child,
the Son of God, man undefiled,
for us our death to die,
our ransom full supply:
to him we can be reconciled!

Joy to the world! Will you who hear
bow down, to him draw near?
in holy fear, and true regret
for follies, greed, and love’s neglect?
His welcoming arms are kind,
rejection, none will find,
who come with all their heart and mind!
Tune: 86 88 66 8 Antioch by George F Handel (tune of ‘Joy to the World’ by I Watts) 196 Grace

(The the Isaac Watts hymn is CM with a 4 line verse, but the 3rd line is slurred to music which fits lines 3 and 4 above happily; also that hymn’s last line is repeated twice, + part of the line – and the music has here been used for the extra two lines.)

Christ’s humility

Philippians 2:5–7
Christ, blessed Son of God
through all eternity,
took on himself incarnate form:
perfect humility.

Christ, Lord and King of all,
leaving his glory came,
willingly served unselfishly,
bearing our wage, sin’s shame.

Humble, unselfish mind
take on that you may serve,
thinking of others’ needs, concerns, –
God’s grace in them observe.

Such binds the Body’s bonds;
pride breaks its unity.
Struggle to keep you attitude –
prayerful humility.
Tune: SM eg Bod Alwyn

Incarnate Son of God

1 John 1:1-2:2
Incarnate Son of God –
the Word of Life appeared,
was gazed upon and touched by men –
who told the words they heard.

For God is perfect light,
and sin has come between –
estrangement, rift, but Jesus Christ
can purify, make clean.

Deserving judgement just,
but if we walk with him,
he is our sacrifice, he bore
God’s wrath, and took our sin.

Now fellowship with God,
the Father and the Son,
and fellowship with fellow saints –
the heavenly joy begun.     Tune: SM


How far would you go to help a friend?

How far would you go to help a friend?
How far did God go? – was it easy to send
as a babe to this world, his magnificent Son
for that which would prove a hard labour begun?

– and who were his friends? – as yet not one,
until he had bought them,
and brought them to see
that it wasn’t too far to go to be
sorry, and willing to ask for what
he’d laboured and suffered for them,
so that
they now could be friends and live for ever, –
and nothing that tie and peace could sever.

From right outside this universe …

From right outside this universe,
and this material sphere,
came One, confusion to reverse,
with truth for us to hear,
truth that is true, unchangeable,
from One who knows, reliable.

Life-bringing message to accept
– escape from living death,
his promises he’s always kept
his words are priceless wealth:
for this world isn’t all there is
but Jesus came awhile to this!
to show us what is now amiss,
and how to find the missing bliss.