Witness to His Life – Our Response

The story of the birth of Christ
took place two-thousand years ago
and there are some who’d tell us that
it’s fiction, fantasy, or myth

And there are some who will admit
that yes, there really was a man
named Jesus, but he was no more
than that: a man who did good things

But who is this Jesus, really?
who do we believe that he is…
a good man, a teacher, a myth
or do we believe something more?

Are we willing, like the shepherds
and magi of so long ago
to seek the truth about this man
to know that he is our Saviour?

Will we join with the apostles
to be disciples of God’s son
obey Him, regardless of cost
and reflect His Light in darkness?

Oh Lord, let these words be true that:
“We are a community of
disciples who passionately
seek, obey, and reflect Jesus”

~~

The last 3 lines of my poem is the vision statement of the church I attend. I thought that these were fitting words for a Christian’s response to the story of Christmas.

Poem is written in blank verse (although it contains metrical structure, it has rhyme scheme)

Witness to His Salvation – 4th Sunday of Advent (Simeon’s Song)

This child I hold upon my knee
I’ve waited all my life to see.
God’s spirit, many years ago
told me I’d see His Christ, and so…
I’ve waited. Waited. Patiently

He’s come to set God’s people free
but how He does this may not be
what you expect, and you must know
for you: pain will accompany
this child I hold.

The Light to this dark world he’ll be
Ah Lord! Thank you for letting me
meet Jesus! Now Lord, let me go
unto my rest, for now you’ve shown
me who will save humanity:
This child I hold

Witnesses to His Glory – 2nd Sunday of Advent (The Angelic Host)

When Eve and Adam ate the fruit
that grew on the forbidden tree
all Heaven knew an evil root
had surely doomed humanity

The angels must have wept that day
to see perfection wrecked by sin
Did they think God would turn away
believing Hell had scored a win?

Could even angels comprehend
our Heavenly Father’s wondrous plan
to bring Hell’s power to an end;
of how He’d deal with sinful man?

Perhaps they thought that they’d be sent
upon the earth with flaming sword
where they would all be Heaven bent
on righteous vengeance for the Lord

Did any angel up above
anticipate the Mighty One
would counter sin and death with love
by sending to the earth His Son?

But I know that they rejoiced to bring
to shepherds news of God’s great grace
proclaiming birth of Christ the King
with songs of loud exuberant praise!

Witnesses to His Promise – 1st Sunday of Advent (Zechariah and Mary)

I have been asked to write a series of poems for our church’s Advent season. I thought I would share them here with my readers as well.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and the topic of our church service today is “Witnesses to His Promise”, and the two Bible characters being looked at are Zechariah (father of John the Baptist), and Mary (mother of Jesus).  I have written 2 sonnets…one from the perspective of each of the above mentioned people.

~~

I’m Zechariah of the Levite tribe
and I am proud to be a priest of God
While serving in the Holy Place – I can’t describe…
what happened there still leaves me over-awed

My wife Elizabeth and I are old
our child-bearing years were long since done
and yet an angel came to me – and told
that soon I’d be a father to a son!

There’s nothing beyond God’s ability,
but that my faith is weak there’s no dispute
in my great doubt I asked, “How can this be?”
and for my disbelief I was struck mute

Until the birth of John: my precious son
who came to lead us to God’s Holy One!

~~

God’s messenger Gabriel visited
He called me favoured!…Said I’d bear God’s son!
I don’t know why I was so privileged
that God made me his special chosen one

Though of Judah’s tribe and King David’s line
I, Mary, am a peasant.  Nobody!
and yet…I was chosen by the Divine?
to be the mother of Divinity?

I am betrothed, but still a virgin…so…
the angel’s words confused me.  In wonder
I asked “How will this be?” Although
I somehow knew, YES!  I’d be a mother!

Though all the earth’s too small to grant him room
The One who made me moves inside my womb!

Shepherds: Part 4 – And Then! (Fourth Week of Advent)

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” -Lk 2:13-45, NIV

The firmament exploded then in song
as Heaven’s choir filled the nighttime sky
What praise burst forth from that angelic throng!
an adoration song to the Most High!

The angels sang of peace for those on earth
for whom God’s gracious favour had been laid
when they’d proclaimed the Saviour’s wondrous birth
the impact of their message did not fade

So once again the shepherds bowed down low
but now in worship rather than in fear
their own praise song began to quickly grow
as they thought how God’s Promised One was near

and then those shepherds all with one accord
agreed to go and meet the Infant Lord

 

Shepherds: Part 3 – The Angel’s Message (Third Week of Advent)

“…I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” -Lk 2:10b-12, NIV

The angel told them that he brought good news
that on this night, Messiah had been born
the long-expected Light for all the Jews
had come as though a long awaited morn

In nearby Bethlehem the angel said
wrapped up in cloth they’d find the infant boy
laid in a trough instead of in a bed
an infant sleeps who’ll bring the whole earth Joy!

In wonder, now, they listened to the voice
that spoke to them of prophecy fulfilled
those fearful men had cause now to rejoice
and as the angel spoke their hearts were thrilled

Those lowly shepherds now stood over-awed
for they’d received a message straight from God

Shepherds: Part 2 – …An angel appears…(second week of Advent)

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news…” (Lk.2:9,10a NIV)

But then, Behold! the middle of the night
the shepherds watch lest one of their sheep stray
when suddenly appeared a blazing light:
a man who shone as brightly as the day

In dread the shepherds fell upon the ground
their terror was too great for them to flee
Struck dumb with fear they could not make a sound
nor did they dare look up that they might see

No predator had come to steal their sheep
Instead had come a messenger from God
who spoke then with a voice both rich and deep
unto those men cast down upon the sod:

“Arise dear shepherds, cast away your fear
Good News I bring tonight, be of good cheer!”

Shepherds: Part 1 – They watched their flocks…(first week of Advent)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. -Lk 2:8 (NIV)

A group of shepherds watched their flocks that night
another night like countless nights before
they had the stars and moon above for light
perhaps a fire too, but nothing more

maybe tonight they’d face a fox or bear
that they’d drive off with rocks tossed from a sling
but probably they’d face hardly a scare
they’d play their flutes and one of them would sing

like countless nights before and nights to come,
this night would surely be more of the same
while one of them tapped lightly on a drum
the rest of them would play a quiet game

not one of them would say this night was strange
how could they know that soon their world would change?