Enlightenment for the stumbling

John 12:46
The world was dark, a place of stumbling ground,
the residents for truth fumbled around;
In pity, God, who is all perfect Light
his Son sent to illuminate their sight.

But would they hang upon his every word?
or hang God’s Man from whom they wisdom heard
– rejecting truth, and grace he came to give
prefer in lonely darkness still to live.

Tune: 10 10 10 10 eg ‘‘‘Woodlands’ by W Greatoex, tune of ‘Tell out my soul’’

The Evolutionary-creation Myths

There once was a myth that mutations
could create DNA permutations
of life systems viable
beautiful, reliable:
they corrupt, can’t improve information.

There once was a myth of long ages
to help evolutionary stages,
but the methods of dating
have faults, indicating
more likely are far shorter ranges.

There once was a myth that the buried
fossils were but slowly smothered –
if not quickly engulfed in the ground
then scavengers soon would have found,
them, their pieces thus broken and scattered.

So the rocks show the signs of catastrophe,
laid down by a flood of activity
or volcanic eruption
and sudden destruction:
a devastating time of calamity.

There once was a myth that ‘pooh-poohed’
that such intricate nature only would
be created, designed
by a far greater mind
and power, than ‘chance’ ever could.

There once was a myth of a gradual
emergence, from nothing, of animal
and plant life evolving,
the improbables resolving
by assumption of aeons multi-millennial.
and some means yet unknown to be causal.

Silent night, Special night

(based on ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’)

Silent night, special night,
all is dark, comes the Light.
Mary with her first-born child,
by whom we’ll be reconciled.
Saviour sent to redeem. (X2)

Silently, most knew not
sleeping babe, makeshift cot,
held the Gift unique for all,
now awhile for milk must call.
Saviour soon will redeem. (X2)

Simple scene, soon will mean
Herod’s threat, real but yet
Joseph warned, with Jesus fled,
Saviour safe to be our Head:
Teacher died in our stead. (X2)

Tune: “Stille Nacht” by F Gruber, Irregular (tune of ‘Silent night, holy night’ on which this is partly based)

A manger-crib

(based on ‘Away in a Manger)
No crib, just a manger to lay down his head,
his mother must place him where cattle had fed.
Though he is the King over all of the earth,
so quiet, so humble, unnoticed his birth.

Like all babies crying for food from his Mum,
but free of bad temper, to save he had come;
He’d suffer so we could be pardoned of sin,
and changed in our hearts, godly life to begin.

For now he is living again on his throne,
and all of my troubles and praying are known.
His Spirit can stay by my side every day,
and fit me for heaven and lead in his Way.

Tune: 11 11 11 11 eg tune of ‘Away in a manger’ on which this is partly based.

Blest merriment: Global news

(based on the carol ‘God rest you merry, gentlemen’)

God make you happy, one and all,
no need to be dismayed,
For Jesus Christ the Saviour
was in a manger laid,
but born to save us from the things
which trap us when we’ve strayed.
Bringing news of real comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
Bringing news of real comfort and joy.

God make you happy, give you joy,
He is the only One
who can our lives’ confusions solve,
and so He sent His Son,
announced to shepherds in the field
salvation’s work begun;
Global news: lasting comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
Global news: lasting comfort and joy.

tune: 8686 86 and refrain eg tune of ‘God rest you merry, gentlemen’.

Light to the Bleakness

(based on the carol, ‘In the bleak mid-winter’ by Christina Rosetti)

In the bleak mid-winter
all is cold,
troubles biting, bitter –
Love foretold
God is coming bringing light,
comfort and release
to lives cold as winter
He sent peace.

In the wintery bleakness
where is joy?
sorrow, hardness, weakness
– a baby boy,
God is coming as foretold
the miracle will be
he’ll redeem from bleakness,
set us free.

Those who’d heard with patience
wait amid
sorrows of all nations,
but God did
come as promised touching hearts,
for Christ paid,
now imparts redemption,
life and aid.

Tune: Cranham by Gustav Holst (irregular) tune of ‘In the bleak mid-winter’ by Christina Rosetti. on which this is slightly based.

Out of the overflow of the heart …

Whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are true,
pure and just and admirable –
fill your mind to say and do
what you know would please your Saviour
– mind will influence behaviour.

Core and cause of sin and failure
is the private life of thought.
Discipline – desire direction,
not in tasteless musings caught.
Need the Holy Spirit dwelling
in us, purity instilling.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praise worthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

Tune 87 87 88 (can be sung to some 87 87 77 eg Irby (tune of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’)

Emmanuel (= God with us)

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
all people need good news – Noël*
to give life purpose, future clear ,
and know his grace and comfort near.
Rejoice, Emmanuel has come
– the Light to shine for everyone.

O come, Emmanuel to free
from Satan’s lies and tyranny
with power to save and truth to teach
our guilt and fears your grace can reach.
Rejoice, Emmanuel …

Israel was taught to wait, prepare
– their God would come, their nature share
as man to teach, in mercy serve –
bearing the judgement we deserve.
Rejoice, Emmanuel …

All nations would be called to Him
the wonderful and glorious King,
to bow, receive abundant life
support while in this world of strife.
Rejoice, Emmanuel …

  • Noël = Good News
    Tune: LM+refrain, eg ‘Veni Emmanuel’ tune of the old carol, ‘O come, O come, Emmanuel’’ on which this is slightly based.

The Secret of Contentment

Greed attacking gratitude,
discontent with what’s received;
whingeing, wanting something else –
Satan many has deceived.

Want to ‘get’ more than to give –
what’s the greatest thing to own?
not possessions physical –
Jesus Christ’s salvation known.

If we sometimes have abundance,
still temptation to want more.
When in straitened circumstances,
all you’re needing trust God for.

If we do, we learn his goodness,
taste, experience faithfulness
of our Father, freed from lusting,
and enjoy supplies of grace.

Tune: 87 87

Personal, Church, and Society

‘We long for you and loving grace,
each morning need your strength to face
the day that lies ahead whatever
may come our way, we would endeavour
to walk with you our Help and Guide
indwelling, and there at our side,
and when encountering distress
please save us in our helplessness.

‘Oh, fill your church with righteousness,
repentance for its waywardness,
give wisdom, valuing your Word
to bow in awe before you, Lord.
What treasure ours when you we own,
but in our times so few have known
this sure foundation that they need’ –
available, his presence heed.

Tune DLM

“Oh, LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. … he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.” Isaiah 33:2, 5b, 6