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
Christ had compassion, not contempt
upon a leper, ill, unkempt,
He touched him – no infection passed,
but for the leper, joy at last:
from Jesus cleansing flowed to cure
the symptoms he’d had to endure.
A man was paralysed, his friends
who heard that Jesus heals and mends
all disabilities and pain,
approached the house – it seemed in vain
– they couldn’t pass the crowd, but then
down through the roof they lowered him.
First, Jesus pardoned him – some sneered,
‘That’s blasphemy!’, their thinking jeered
– he then healed this paralysis
(– one day he’ll right all that’s amiss):
he is divine, as thus he showed,
grace, mercy is by him bestowed.
Tune: 88 88 88 eg Melita (tune of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’)
(based on Luke 5:12-26)
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.