So vast the chasm, huge the rift
between pure goodness, love, and they
who on his earth carelessly drift
and no respect or rental pay.
He gave them much, and often spared
though few gave thought to make request;
their folly grieved him, for he cared
and knew their loss, they lacked the best.
What could he do? the rift was great.
Could they be healed and reconciled,
brought into such a holy state
that each could be his friend, his child?
He spoke, he came, he took their place
to pay the price for all their sin;
his Spirit moved their hearts in grace
to humbly turn, return to him.
And those who did, shunned squabbling
and malice, selfishness and greed,
all hatred, and proud babbling:
to foster peace they’d now been freed!
Flimsy pleasure – hacking, scamming –
what a waste of mind and skill –
given by God to do his will.
Grabbing, greedy, stealing, wasting
other people’s things and time
– til a change to gladly giving
wrought by glorious power divine.
Tune: 87 87 eg Mariners, Traditional Sicilian melody
To whom to go if leaving You?
who else to know, who else can do
the needed things to wipe away
our guilt and sins so that we may
have God as Friend and Father wise
to love, defend, and wipe our eyes.
They came to see You feed and heal.
You came to be our Saviour real.
They want a King to free the land,
and do their ‘thing’ and make them grand:
not keen to hear rebukes to guide,
Your truth so clear, serve at Your side.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:67-69
Tune 88 88 88 eg Melita (tune of ‘Eternal Father strong to save’ or Motzart (Isaac) (tune of ‘We have not known Thee as we ought’) or ‘Solid rock’ (tune of ‘My hope is built on nothing less’
Adverts suggest that we never could be
happy without some new gadget we see,
kitchen transformed, or a new swell settee:
thrilling, exciting us briefly, maybe.
Day after day we enjoy tasty food,
pleasure in countryside, friends do us good.
Yes, there are troubles, but still much to cheer –
life in God’s world is not grey or austere.
Perfect the joy in God’s fellowship sweet,
dressed for His presence, protection complete,
beauty adorning, accepted, embraced –
in Jesus’ righteousness fully encased.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness. Isaiah 61:10
Tune: 10 10 10 10 eg Slane (tune of ‘Be thou my vision’)
‘Go my own way, with money to spend …
Everyone’s friendly – I’ve plenty to lend …
exciting wild living, no time to be sad,
no work, and no duties, who’s to say that I’m bad …?
‘The money has gone, no pals’ helping hand,
I’m hungry, and famine’s besetting the land,
prices as rising – can I work for some food?’
“Yes, you can go feed my pigs!” ‘Oh, how I would
eat what they’ve got, I’m so starving still,
longing for something my stomach to fill …
‘My father has servants – they’ve food to spare.
I’ve wasted his money, no longer an heir,
but maybe he’d give me a better job there,
I’ll tell him I’m sorry – will he still for me care …?
The father when seeing him, ran to him, kissed –
Oh, how this prodigal child he had missed!
Gladly he welcomed his humble son home.’
‘My wandering, squandering nightmare is gone.’
cf. Luke 15:7-31
With hate in heart,
they speak of peace.
don’t care to ask
for mercy, grace.
But I do ask –
don’t close your ear –
I’ll share their fate
if you don’t hear.
But those with no
regard for what
God thinks, don’t want
these gifts he’s got.
My heart exults –
you’ve heard my call:
my Shepherd carries,
me through all.
Draw in, and save
a people who
will be your own,
and love you too.
Though hated, I’m
from Fortress strong,
“Since they show no regard for the works of the LORD and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again. Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. … my heart leaps for joy …be their shepherd and carry them for ever.” Psalm 28: 5-9
( He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:2,3)
Boys in Thailand deep inside a cave –
needing rescuers who can save
coming in from far to find each boy
– welcomed gratefully, with joy.
Stuck in bog of sin, we can’t break free,
burst from chained captivity;
needing someone wise with rescue plan
who’ll fulfil it – Saviour-man.
When he comes you must respond, and grasp,
call, his help then firmly clasp,
and when lifted from lust’s powerful pull,
follow him, your Lord, joy-full.
Implanted in our heart
an awareness of infinity,
of unseen things, eternity
we cannot contemplate completely
but the skill that us constructed
has its image, glimpse imparted
though shaded by conceitedness,
masking unacknowledged ignorance
of such dimensions supernatural,
omniscience and power
beyond our finite sphere,
but a clear direction came
a revelation to explain
from the Ruler of the spirits
to everyone who here inhabits
to lift the shading shadow, show
our place in the eternity
and spiritual prosperity,
felt peace experience with transcendent Judge.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:12
Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made … Romans 1:20
Redeemed to live for him,
to love his laws that show
how to depart from sin –
immense the debt we owe.
our bonds have been cut through,
renewed desires of mind,
enabled good to do.
Now reconciled, with awe
we’re friends with God, agree,
and reverently adore –
from enmity set free.
Tune: 66 66 eg St Cecilia
A treasured prize invaluable
– it should seem quite incredible
that God, Creator, holy, pure
could friendship want, desire, endure
with us – but it is so, we’re filled
with awe, and startled hearts are thrilled.
Religions fear a wrath they must
somehow appease if it is just,
and never could conceive, or dare
hope such a Being would, could care
for friendship – that would seem absurd,
until Christ’s victory is heard.
The access he has opened, and
now beckons, calls with love’s command
to all who hide: to come, receive,
repent of sins, draw near, believe.
Have you desired, asked him to be
your special Friend eternally?
For then you’ll taste that friendship warm
enjoyment in the calm and storm
in sharing, comforted – intend
to always please your Father, Friend,
and value friendship of all who
walk with him on this journey new.
James 2: 23 Abraham believed God … he was called God’s friend.
Tune: 88 88 88 eg Sussex Carol (tune of ‘On Christmas Night all Christians Sing’)
or eg Stella (tune of ‘Leave God to order all thy ways’) or Melita (tune of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’)