See the man whose words impressed,
see the one who all confessed
someone special, kind and good,
yet who showed you what you should
do, and so some took exception
felt no need of God’s redemption.
See the man who healed and fed
thousands from five loaves of bread,
but not willing yet to claim
forced submission to his reign,
giving time for all to ponder
who he is, this King of wonder.
See his followers, faltering, weak,
see them honour him and seek
help to stand when many slate them,
threaten, silence, murder, hate them
all because of proclamation
joyful of his free salvation.
You can’t believe there’s a God who is good?
complain he doesn’t do (yet) what you think he should?
assume that Jesus just can’t have been what
is generally believed – or you rather hope not?
You have no patience to carefully read,
and feel the accounts must surely indeed
be written to trick, deceive, confuse,
but dare not the history yourself peruse?
Did that man so die who was much admired?
Did he live again, and has since inspired
so many, did he teach well, heal?
and the will of the one true God reveal?
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world”
Matthew 5:14,16”You are the light of the world … let your light shine before men”
So many think enlightenment
will come with education.
They’re itching for excitement
but often find confusion
– in casting off the truth revealed
for novelty unproven
that to the curious has appealed –
delivering but depression.
Christ said he is the needed Light
for everyone’s direction,
and when he’s shone into our night
we give a pale reflection;
so to his followers he spoke
they must the world enlighten,
display his way to stumbling folk
with winsomeness invite them.
Tune: 87 87D iambic eg Bishopgarth (tune of ‘For My sake and the gospel’s go)
or 87 87 iambic eg Dominus Regit me (tune of ‘The King of love my Shepherd is)
Disciples listened to his word –
soon they’d be proving what they heard –
for insult, accusation, lie
would come, and maybe they would die
from persecution they’d receive
because in Jesus they believe.
Though peaceful, making peace, they seek
to show God’s way, with grace to speak
of mercy, love, be wise and kind,
hatred of righteousness they’d find,
but blessed in heart because they own
God’s kingdom, perfect love have known.
God knows what scorn his people face,
remembers all they bear, his grace
supports and will give honour due
one day when all own what is true
– and sometimes viewing persecution
will shake, move some to seek salvation.
Tune: 88 88 88 eg Melita (tune of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’)
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for their is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me …” Matthew 5:10,11
( 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.
‘What must I do?’ the lawyer asked,
‘eternal life to have?’
– the most important question – will
I live beyond the grave?
If fact, he felt he had some chance,
thought he was good enough
– but Jesus challenged him to think
– he saw beyond his bluff.
He sets the standard very high,
and when we realise
how much we fail, we then may ask
his grace – and that is wise.
How can we worship One unseen?
No man-made idol-image
can ever nourish true esteem –
distortion is an outrage:
it does not show his skill,
his wisdom, mighty will,
unable to define
his attributes divine –
misleads us and insults him.
His image once on earth was known,
whose words made men astonished,
his power, and rule and kindness shown –
in death his love was lavished.
He’s jealous of his right
to make us his delight,
and those who hate his name
will bring their children shame,
but some return to love him.
John, persecuted, exiled on
the isle of Patmos, saw him –
the risen Jesus, glorious Son
the holy Saviour reigning
to teach his people, keep,
give comfort when they weep:
we worship him we know,
though have no aid to show –
the scriptures well describe him.
Tune: 87 87 66 66 7 eg Ein Feste Burg by Martin Luther (tune of ‘A Safe stronghold our God is still’
“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them …” Exodus 20:4,5”
His face shone like the sun,
his clothes as white as light –
his deity and glory shown:
an awesome, dazzling sight.
Elijah had appeared,
and also Moses too –
they spoke with Jesus of his death,
all that he soon would do.
As Peter, James and John
observed, a cloud came down,
enveloped them – they heard a voice.
– ‘He’s my beloved Son’.
‘With him I am well pleased.
Mankind should listen well.’
So, do we listen to those things
that Jesus came to tell?
And are we awed and thrilled
at such a glimpse of power
that will one day put right all wrongs –
a glorious judgement hour?
Placed in a manger
come to be Saviour.
soon in great danger:
Herod would kill.
God sent a warning
– take them to Egypt,
don’t wait ’til morning,
stay there until …
of Herod’s death told,
‘you can return now’,
(frankincense, myrrh, gold
Watched Jesus growing
safe now in Nazareth,
Mary was knowing
one day he’d reign.
Tune: 554D eg Bunessan (Gaeilic melody) tune of ‘Child in the Manger’
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