Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On the Morning of Christ's Birth

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. - Luke 2:7

He spoke, and Word gave birth to light,
To land and water, plants and sky,
To mortal man before the blight:
The blight from Satan’s tempting lie,
Which brought man down from infant height
To sin, which threw the man awry;
Still glorify the Lamb on high!

Now man in sin gives in to wrong
And suffers, yea, he suffers still.
So God saved Noah from the throng
Of sinners; landed on the hill
When waters lowered, waiting long,
And Noah wine to God did spill,
And glorified the Lamb on high.

Then God a nation made to grow
From Abraham, a man from Ur,
A people of His own, to know
Him as their God and serve Him sure.
And blessings on them He’d bestow
When they themselves would keep as pure
And glorify the Lamb on high.

And God raised up a servant king:
A man named David, fearing God,
Who lifted up his voice to sing
And never built a false facade
But in despair to God would cling;
Prefigurement of Jesse’s rod
To glorify the Lamb on high.

Then prophets spoke and oft foretold
Of Christ, Messiah, saving one
From everlasting, from of old,
Who’d come to rescue Adam’s son;
And John, the last, told them: Behold!
The Lamb of God! Salvation won!
Now glorify the Lamb on high!

This Christ, the Lamb, a baby born
In humble manger, in the straw,
Whom Mary, Joseph now adorn
In cloths, as shepherds watch in awe:
The Word made flesh has come to warn
And save the lost from death by law;
O, glorify the Lamb on high!

Messiah, Christ, the Prince of Peace
Is led to cross with crown of thorns;
Led captive now with no release
As soldiers mock and robber scorns.
Messiah dies, his breaths now cease;
The Savior dies, and Mary mourns;
Yet glorify the Lamb on high!

Then up from grave the Lord arose,
Appearing to His closest friends.
The wounds in hands and side he shows,
Then up to heaven He ascends.
Now soon the Holy Spirit grows;
Their failings, weakness it transcends
To glorify the Lamb on high.

In glory Christ will come again
To judge the living and the dead:
The Lord, the seed of God and men,
The second Adam died and bled;
Repeat the loud AMEN, as then
The Church and Christ are ever wed,
And glorify the Lamb on high!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lent: Day Forty

I looked for God, and found Him in the grave,
Guarded by soldiers, sealed by stone and seal;
What hope have we that God can truly save?
For God is dead, that One who was most real.
Our Savior lies entombed and wrapped in cloth,
And now we wait for—what? We do not know.
We wait—yet Jesus' death has cut a swath
Through hope, and we do not know where to go.
We wait for something, hoping even still,
As on this Sabbath day our Lord lies dead;
Our hope's not gone, for hope is hard to kill.
And so we wait, not knowing what's ahead.
O, you who wait, take heart! All is not done,
But simply hope in that almighty One.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lent: Day Thirty-seven

I looked for God, and found Him loving sinners;
That is, the ones who know that they are so,
Who never go to Pharisaic dinners
Where only the self-righteous chance to go.
He loved the ones whom others had cast off:
The prostitute who washed Him with perfume
Though Pharisees were much inclined to scoff,
And tax collector lifted out of gloom.
Just three more days of Lent: the time approaches
When Christ shall suffer all for sinners' sake
And free us from our sin, which so encroaches;
And from our death He then shall us awake.
Yes, all have sinned, and all deserve God's wrath,
And yet He loves us; He, the truest path.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lent: Day Thirty-three

I looked for God, and found Him in His people;
In church, in homes, in schools, and in vocations,
Wherever we are found, beneath a steeple
Or out among the world and its temptations.
The Lord is near wherever we may be,
For He has come to dwell in all our hearts
And from our sin at last to set us free
Through His almighty Spirit's healing arts.
These days of Lent, now thirty-three, remind
That God came down in bodied form as well;
Come, Lord, and be with us, with all mankind,
And by Thy presence all our sin dispel.
O, haste that day with golden streets and towers
When God will dwell among us, and be ours!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lent: Day Twenty

I looked for God, and found Him in our death
When we at last give up our fragile ghost
And breathe our last, forsaking now that breath
Which God first breathed, that we may never boast.
For we are mortal, falling back to dust
From which we came, that dry and filthy stuff.
But You are with us, Lord, Thou good and just;
O, You alone are more than good enough.
Now half of Lent is gone, and Easter nears;
Come save us, Lord, for we are lost in sin,
And sin brings us to death, and many tears;
But You, O Lord, are life to us within.
In life, in death, O Lord, be Thou my stay,
And when I die, come light me on my way.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lent: Day Fifteen

I looked for God, and found Him in the smell
Of flowers, smell of earth, and smell of rain:
That petrichor which permeates my cell
Of drywall, stucco, stone, and windowpane.
You find Your way into my sheltered life
And wake me up with sharp and fragrant scents,
For You're the sweetest smell amid the strife
On earth, where fallen man doth pitch his tents.
Now fifteen days of Lent have passed me by
And You have woken me to life from death.
Thy incense filled my nostril, stung my eye;
Thy Spirit has restored my failing breath.
In smells of earth I found You; take me higher,
To fragrances of heaven, to holy fire.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lent: Day Eleven

I looked for God, and found Him in our grief,
In tears and sorrow over loved ones lost.
He waits for us, He offers us relief
With arms held wide; no payment asked, no cost.
For life is filled with suffering and pain
Far more than we can handle on our own,
But God will turn our losses into gain
And give us far more joy than we have known.
Eleven days of Lent: come quickly now,
For grief has overwhelmed us, and we fall.
Come quickly, God; before Your feet we bow
And worship You, who are our all in all.
O, save us, Lord, for we are small and weak,
But it is You whom now we humbly seek.