They know their Master’s voice
– that voice has safely led
each one aware he knows their name,
and by him they are fed,
They follow at his call,
and heed his every word,
they know he knows the way ahead,
and all their prayers are heard.
He glances round the stars,
far mightier is he,
and yet he cares for foolish sheep
and comforts lovingly.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
To Nazareth the angel came
to tell of Mary’s son who’d reign
for ever – Mary, puzzled, heard
the astonishing, amazing word –
Soon, to a child she would give birth
– the Son of God come down to earth,
and name him Jesus, Saviour-King:
God’s blessing to the world he’d bring.
‘How can this be?’ she asked – she still
was not yet married – in God’s will
his Spirit would in power great
the child miraculously create.
Humbly accepting; Joseph too
was told of what the Lord would do,
they trusted through the waiting days,
and Mary sang God’s grace and praise.
To Jesus they brought
this one they had caught
in breaking the law –
Christ came to restore
those sorry for sin,
so they could begin
a new life with Him,
For her they did not
have care, not a jot,
their aim was to trip
make Jesus to slip,
so they could detect
for law disrespect,
and undermine grace
that covers disgrace.
They all crept away,
for no-one could say
he’d never done wrong
through all his life long.
can other sins hide.
The test had spun round –
and what had they found?
He didn’t condone,
nor did he condemn;
his mission to save,
and now can forgive
if guilt we admit
desiring to quit,
rebellion to leave;
repent and receive.
Tune: 10 10 10 10 but can be sung to some 10 10 11 11 tunes eg
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
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’
A merry-go-round of monotony,
a chorus of cackling cacophony
– soul’s bellies a-rumbling,
and hungering, grumbling
– life colourless: strife, gloom and acrimony.
The gift that arrived that first Christmas
with promises that it could give us
what really can satisfy
– see God above ratify
– imperishable gift that’s so precious.
Amusements can give us a “sugar-rush”
– our souls need whole food that will nourish us.
We need to receive Him,
His Word to escape this world’s death-curse.
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.