Joy 365 days and ever

Joy to the world – not just a day
of happiness each year,
not just a short-lived time of play,
an answer to all fear,
an answer to all fear,
an answer to all fear.

Angels announced and shepherds heard,
and went to Bethlehem.
They found the child, and spread the word –
amazement followed them,
amazement followed them,
amazement followed them.

Joy to the world, don’t be deceived
to spurn the gift of joy.
And all who have this gift received
know it’s no childish toy,
know it’s no childish toy,
know it’s no childish toy.

this is based on the song ‘Joy to the world’ by Isaac Watts, tune by Handel

The Star in the manger

The Star of the story
was not in the sky,
– though veiled now his glory,
this Babe born to die
had come from the place where
his honour was great –
though welcomed by some here,
King Herod would hate.

The Babe in the manger
like others would grow,
but teach of great danger,
and truth he would show.
Sent here by the Father
to rescue, redeem,
and never another
like him – He’s supreme.

The Star of our history
who owns everything,
one day his great glory
with him he will bring
and show why he came here
as babe long ago,
our nature, our flesh share
that Him we might know.
Tune: 11 11 11 11 eg Away in a Manger

“ A child … will be called …”

The child will be Wonderful,
miraculous, Counsellor:
true, kind and wisdom-ful,
a powerful Comforter.

The child will be God, the Son,
the governing Prince of Peace;
eternal, from heaven he’d come –
his kingdom will spread, increase.

A Father’s protective care,
good Shepherd who will redeem,
our follies and sins he’ll bear,
and Light in the darkness beam.

The Awesome Message

To Nazareth the angel came
to tell of Mary’s son who’d reign
for ever – Mary, puzzled, heard
the astonishing, amazing word –

Soon, to a child she would give birth
– the Son of God come down to earth,
and name him Jesus, Saviour-King:
God’s blessing to the world he’d bring.

‘How can this be?’ she asked – she still
was not yet married – in God’s will
his Spirit would in power great
the child miraculously create.

Humbly accepting; Joseph too
was told of what the Lord would do,
they trusted through the waiting days,
and Mary sang God’s grace and praise.

 

“Santa(?)”’s ‘Naughty’ list

If Santa really watches all,
then every single name would fall
not in the ‘nice’, but ‘naughty’ list –
for everyone the target’s missed.

We won’t succeed even if we start
perfecting life – the whole, not part –
we’re bound to mess up, and can’t pay
to wash past guiltiness away.

So if there is a God who sees,
can anyone his verdict please?
and can we have real happiness,
can he be kind to us and bless?

As no-one can be nice enough,
then Jesus came to take us off
the ‘naughty’ list if we’ll receive
his goodness, niceness and believe. Tune: LM

Present Presence

No babe in Bethlem,
the manger’s bare,
the cross is empty –
he is not there:
he’s gone to heaven
from where he sees
and hears and guides us,
and holds death’s keys.

So call out to him
that he prepare
a home there for you,
but meet you here,
send down his Spirit
to grace impart,
and be your Guest now
within your heart.

Tune: 54 54D eg ‘Have thine own way, Lord’

The Best

God made a special star one day,
and wise men came from far away.
They understood a wonderful thing –
a baby had been born our King,
Sing, sing of him the wonderful King,
our love and honour to him bring.

An angel told the shepherds, ‘Go!,
God’s love and joy and peace to know;
In Bethlehem the baby boy
is King to bring you peace and joy.’

At Christmas time we have a lot
of presents, fun, but we must not
forget that Jesus is the best –
by him we can be loved and blessed.

Tune:
‘On Christmas night all Christians sing’

Father Precious

Not just a jolly image
who’s bringing gifts galore
(guffaws that shake his rib-cage
ring out around the store),
but one who is a Father
all year to give what‘s good
– not toys but help to better
live now the way we should:

A Father for all seasons,
knows all we’ve ever done,
does not excuse our treasons,
but beckons us to come
confess, receive forgiveness
for Jesus forged the Way,
his Father’s grace be given us
for deeds and words each day.
Tune: 76 76 D eg Nettleton (American Folk Tune)

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)