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
Of Caesar’s conquests on the earth–
there is no doubt that they occurred;
and Jesus Christ defeated death –
but some think that must be absurd.
And yet the evidence is great
for Caesar, and Christ Jesus, too,
and ‘BC*’ written records state
what Christ was coming here to do.
Do you have reason to respond
the testimonies are untrue?
and that there is no power beyond
this world that you can feel and view?
What really does seem quite absurd
is not to read, investigate
the claims and offer once they’re heard:
examine and evaluate.
*BC=Before Christ, ie before he was born, detailed announcements were made, and recorded, and believed!
Tune: LM eg Tallis’ canon, tune of ‘Glory to Thee, my God, this night for all the blessings of the light’
God is real – how can we know?
Skies and flowers his prowess show;
Christ, the Son, came here, revealing,
showed his Father’s love appealing,
justice, power, rule and wisdom,
mercy, love and coming kingdom;
raised from death, and now preparing
for our coming to him, sharing,
sending witnesses throughout
all the world to teach about
who he is, inviting all
for his mercy, love to call.
In his time upon this earth
from his birth and through his death,
showed that we may speak and pray –
God in heaven hears what we say
of our heart needs and desires
– he himself our prayers inspires.
77 77 77 eg Dix (tune of ‘As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold’)
surface magic and excitement;
high ceilings lift aloft,
mellow spirit glowing –
yet from these little learning,
that in the knowing
can gird the mind
when in the cold of daily grind,
groping, groaning, hurt and blind.
Relaxing, fragrant, ‘bubble-bath’,
escape awhile, refreshment –
hear words of truth
– though these may not caress, allure,
they enter aural gate unlocking light
producing courage to endure
and satisfying mental sense,
Was it really by some luck
from a mixed and murky muck
of chemical soup,
that these sequences specific
of multiple atomic
precise, complex arrangements
able to initiate
which twisted and consisted
that protected, and reacted
for energy production,
with nanosized machinery
to preserve, repair
from the wear and tear
on polymers delicate and intricate – ?
It must have been
an infinite string
of unlikely and co-incident,
colossal and incredible
strokes of luck improbable
again, again, again, again … … … ?
Or a genius skill
and supernatural will
with power to combine
what would otherwise decline,
imagined and designed,
and could gather, build and bind
all at once
this awesome architecture,
of the structure and the business
of the chemistry
In the Gilgamesh epic tale
global flood legends,
the world over) –
– frightening the sending council of squabbling gods,
by its ferocity,
(struggling with itself
like a woman writhing in labour)
as it covered the earth;
– and they starved during the flood
while there were none around, able to
offer sacrifices to them (?!);
Utnapishtim was warned by the god
who made man, and told to build a boat
that was cube-like
(which would be ridiculously unstable!)
– how odd –,
and to take in all kinds of living creatures
and seal it with pitch, then enter with his family
and a few others.
When the flood receded,
the ark lodged on a mount,
and birds were sent out to test
the state of the receding waters,
(though in a less logical order than in the Bible account).
mankind had turned to wickedness and anarchy:
told Noah he must build an ark,
now shown to make
a shape both large and stable,
for the coming conditions,
and to house the range
of land animals, safely, securely.
God, stern, but merciful
warning, giving time
before the disaster,
but no-one outside Noah’s family
believed and asked for refuge.
Tale retold orally,
for dramatic effect?
but pointing back to the reality
there was a great and global flood
at the time of Noah.
a rotted rope,
to hold in stormy sea,
a cobweb frail
to no avail –
a hope as weak as me.
Oh, why deny
a God on high,
the God his Son disclosed?
a God who’ll teach,
and all can reach,
before whom all’s exposed.
His power clothed earth,
and conquered death –
only the meek reach out
who know their need
to trust and plead:
of hope secure they shout!
Tune: CM eg ‘Amazing Grace’
The meaning of life –
before any strife
was ever on record,
ill-word ever heard:
life’s Origin, Source
knew its purpose, of course,
for he had created, concocted
for perfect contentment,
no drudgery to shirk;
was grieved when bad choosing
meant misery, losing
that sense and that sight
of meaning and purpose, sad plight –
but then gave directions
a fix-it book, and help-line
– no queueing, ‘put-on-hold’ time –
but warned of ‘solutions’
‘cowboy’ repairers who wrangle –
whose bungles he’ll sort out, untangle.
The Designer’s Instruction Manual
can save from the scrap-heap,
give new-life whose vigour he’ll keep
(expectation, direction anew,
though problems persist,
while temptations exist),
guide out of a jam,
direct to smooth running,
and strength for the shunning
of grit that will hamper
or act as a damper,
can scan, oil and test,
supplying the zest –
for after all,
He knows best.
– with indebtedness to C S Lewis
Let them think that God’s remote
– to him they do not matter,
and so they need not give much thought
to get to know him better.
Let them think there is no God,
there’s nothing else but matter,
and human wisdom has evolved
to understand things better.
Let them think there is no code,
that morals do not matter,
with no restraint, experiment,
and think they’ll feel much better.
Do anything to keep from thought
of God, who walked this earth,
by miracle had human birth,
revealing God to whom we matter,
and showed a way of life that’s better,
a God who is and was and shall be,
and soon will change this world of tragedy;
keep them from joy, discarding mutiny.
Catastrophic flooding, pouring, pushing,
40 days and nights still raining,
water underground emerging, rushing
sediment stirred up by crushing
rocks and soil and vegetation,
many creatures, fossilising
by pressured hardening
before there could be
patterns petrified in stone:
footprints, feathers, bone;
Message had for long been known,
foretold to warn,
the refuge built, prepared,
but many chose to scorn,
refuse the offered ark;
such flood as this had been
would nevermore be seen
– the promise of the rainbow;
– but lesser floods may come and go,
and everyone of us face death,
but not this vast destruction of the earth;
so while we’ve breath,
we must not live as they did
in wickedness and violence,
rebelliousness, and malice,
corruption, misery, and lovelessness.
Be ready for the transient grave,
submissive to the pardoning God
who for eternity can save.
“On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” Genesis 7:11