(Jonah chapter 1)
The sailors, frightened in the storm,
found idol-gods dead, deaf to cries.
The real, true God they had not known,
and guilty Jonah sleeping lies.
What God d’you worship? – Jonah speak!
– his God, he told them was not weak.
His God, he said, had made the sea,
the land, the sky, and taught his Word,
but disobedient Jonah, he
his God’s chastisement had incurred.
They from the storm would be set free
by throwing Jonah in the sea.
A God who speaks? A powerful God?
who teaches, judges, rules the waves?
Must they throw Jonah overboard?
– surprising will of One who saves.
They had to trust he would not blame,
and great their reverence for his name.
Their boat to land they’d tried to bring,
but could not, for the storm increased.
So now they called, and sought this King
to be from any guilt released.
At once the raging sea was calm,
and God saved Jonah too from harm.
Tune: 88 88 88 eg Melita by J B Dykes (tune of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’)
of Savina by (tune of ‘And can it be that I should gain’)
“Come , all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy?”
Pleasures and philosophies,
cannot last or deeply please.
Life is dark, a desert drought
– Christ brings hope – the light shines out.
Come for water, come for life,
easing conscience, help in strife,
adequate for all your need,
for God’s friendship cleansed and freed.
Come, your poverty admit,
don’t pretend that you are fit
to receive this grace immense,
all his free beneficence.
Come– available milk, wine
– full abundance can be mine –
children coming to his throne,
every day his grace is known.
If you’re thirsty, come and drink
from the Source no longer shrink.
Come and ask and trust his Word
– offer free of Christ, the Lord.
Tune: 77 77
The young, the old, cash-strapped, work-stressed:
all everywhere aware
of void within, a cry, a quest
for God who is somewhere.
All see the beauty and design
in flower, bird-song, love,
and some reach out for help divine,
revering One above.
And when they hear the simple tale
of him who taught on earth
and showed his power, and helped the frail,
and clearly conquered death
they find he offers wonder gift
for each who struggle now
of pardon, strength, a real life-lift,
and purpose sure to know.
Tune: CMD eg Forest Green or Christmas Carol, tunes of ‘O little town of Bethlehem’
Seeking grace half-heartedly?
Value it appropriately,
appropriate it urgently:
famished, dying, parched.
None like that are turned away,
only those who want to, stay,
none but desperate people pray
– earnest, forceful, cling.
He will listen if you throw
questions hard and want to know –
grasp, and do not let him go
he will not reject.
Present needs can fill the mind:
Jesus says what’s best to find
is himself, and life he’ll give
evermore with him to live.
Life-transforming offer this!
on-call service do not miss!
help in struggles is at hand –
soon we’ll reach the glorious land!
Don’t just ask for daily bread,
him receive, and so be fed
in your soul with what will last
when these present needs are past.
So with thinking realigned,
following in deed and mind
fully his direction wholly
for all else is failing folly.
Tune: 77 77+ eg tune of ‘See amid the winter snow’ or 77 77 eg Nottingham, tune of ‘Take my life, and let it be’
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. … I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry … “ John 6:27, 35
Wanting life heavenly, feeling it hell,
stress and frustration – nothing goes well:
take short vacation, leave hurt behind,
new sights and feasting – brief pleasure find.
Jesus brings heaven to those who seek him,
and who will break with selfishness, sin;
soon there’ll be fullness, and even now,
heavenly foretaste here we can know.
Do others see it shown in the love
of those receiving grace from above?
wonderful life that Jesus can give
– may more be longing with him to live.
54 54 D eg Thine own way, Lord
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’
(1 Peter 1:18-25)
In persecution, problems,
the answer is the same –
remember his great gospel –
the Christ to whom you came.
His purchase, precious payment,
his blood – the price he paid:
God’s plan fulfilled, your sins all
upon the Lamb were laid.
In him brought to the Father,
believing what you heard,
obeyed his call, you love him –
Christ, purifying Word.
Preserved by faithful promise,
eternal life received,
remembering Christ, be strengthened,
as when you first believed.
Tune: 76 76 eg St Alphege tune of ‘In full and glad surrender’
1 Timothy 2:1-6
Some own there is a god –
his character, by whim
they draw, and see no need of Christ
to make their peace with him.
So much now stifles thought,
distracts, and numbs the mind
with music’s beat, many don’t try
life’s destiny to find.
He pinpoints where we’re at,
and where we’re heading to,
and how to reach the better goal,
what to believe and do.
One mediator given:
God wants his church to tell,
and so we need to pray for peace,
live lives that please him well.
When worldly views surround
the church must not then slide
but by their life and words, attract
towards the Saviour’s side.
We pray for all who rule
that peace and quietness
enable more to come for grace
and live in godliness.
For God can overrule
guide leaders fallible
to bring stability that makes
our witness possible.
As Aslan died instead
of Edmund, who’d betrayed,
so only Jesus could redeem
each one who’d disobeyed.
Only the King himself,
the perfect one alone,
who had no wrong thing ever done,
could take my place, atone.
The temple showed how God
is separate from sin,
and all that is not pure and good:
we could not come to him.
The curtain barred the way,
to the most holy place,
but when Christ died, it broke in two –
he reconciled by grace.
His body broken meant
the barrier’s broken down,
so through his bearing punishment
we can approach God’s throne.
What awesome thing is this?
to now be welcomed in
to friendship with the Holy One,
the Sovereign God, our King!