Man-made images hinder

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, transfigured … Why?

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?

Tune: SM

Refugees

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
journeys sustain).
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’

What will last?

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

 

Present Grace, Future Perfect

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)

He gave himself for all …

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.

Tune: SM

The beginning and end of tears

This world, when all was brought to be –
the beauty, wonder we still see
was not yet marred in any way,
with no frustration, till fall’s day.
He who had mutinied, and lost
his place among the heavenly host,
became God’s enemy, until
an end to all his plans of ill.

So when God made the universe,
this Satan schemed, earned judgement’s curse;
he tempted Eve to doubt, rebel,
and so to sin and hurt she fell.
Could not for ever live like this,
their world and they were now amiss,
though still supported, all would groan
until salvation wrought, made known.

Christ came to pay the debt,  he will,
soon come again, and all fulfil,
and meanwhile hear now, heed his call
and friendship, like before the fall,
you can enjoy with God, and when
he comes, returns, a world that then
will have no damage, and no fears,
with happy work, no death, no tears.

Tune: LM or DLM ‘Ye banks and braes’

Two Kings, Two Feasts

The Despot Herod held a feast,
and showed himself a tyrant beast,
gave to the dancer her vile wish
of righteous John’s head on a dish.

But, Jesus saddened, found a place
of quiet, but crowds still sought his face,
he had compassion on their need,
and gave them truth and bread to feed.

What contrast seen in these two kings,
the one abused the power fear brings,
the other as a Shepherd cared,
and healed and fed, salvation shared.

And he is still a Shepherd-King
who welcomes all to come to him.
He knows you through and through, he’ll lead,
and satisfy soul-hunger, feed.

Mark 6: 14-44 and Matthew 14:12-14

(Tune: LM can be sung to ‘Ye banks and braes’ Scottish Traditional melody, two verses to the tune)

The Allegory of Aslan’s Sacrifice

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!

tune: DSM

Certain Hope Reliable

Unfounded hope,
a rotted rope,
to hold in stormy sea,
a cobweb frail
to no avail –
a hope as weak as me.

Oh, why deny
a God on high,
the God his Son disclosed?
a God who’ll teach,
and all can reach,
before whom all’s exposed.

His power clothed earth,
and conquered death –
only the meek reach out
who know their need
to trust and plead:
of hope secure they shout!

Tune: CM eg ‘Amazing Grace’