Do you wait…?

Do you wait for the blast of the trumpet?

Do you  long for the sound of His voice?

Do you see that your Hope’s drawing nearer?

Stand up! Lift your head and rejoice!

For the Groom is approaching; be ready!

He comes for his beautiful bride;

To sweep her up in his loving embrace,

In those arms that were once stretched out wide,

As the sins of us all weighed upon Him

Till the payment for justice was met.

Lift your eyes, for He comes, The Belovèd.

To gather from Earth the Elect.

The greatest story ever told… (the edited version!)

Almighty God came down to earth,

Took human form by virgin birth.

Escaped to Egypt, saved from death,

Then made his home in Nazareth.

Grew up in his family’s love

But knew he came from heaven above.

A grown man then, he was baptised –

God’s rescue plan already devised.

Into the wilderness he went

For forty days without relent.

Returned in power, spirit filled,

Acting as the Father willed.

Chose the twelve, began to preach,

To heal, deliver, feed and teach,

But met with trouble along the way

From religious leaders of the day.

Prepared for what he knew was coming –

A friend’s betrayal; horrific suffering;

Beatings, trial and false conviction;

Condemned to death by crucifixion.

Breathed his last, his work all done –

The victory over Satan won.

His friends in sorrow and dismay

Did not know what took place that day,

Until they saw that he was risen,

Restored to life from deathly prison.

Sent his disciples into the world

As the way to salvation was unfurled.

Returned to heaven, but all was not lost –

His Spirit came back at Pentecost.

Empowered his followers that they should not lack,

But continue their mission until he comes back.

Goodbye Old Friend

This is the end of the road, Jack.

It feels like the end of the world.

I can clearly remember that day, long ago;

You were snug in a basket, all curled

In a ball, fast asleep and you just looked so sweet

That I knew there and then it was you.

All your brothers were lovely, but just not my type,

So it turned out to be just us two.

We’ve had wonderful times, we’ve played ball in the park,

We’ve been to the beach and had fun.

And though we’ve both aged, we’ve still had our walks

And warmed our tired bones in the sun.

But I know you’re in pain and your eyes say it all.

What can I do for my dearest, best friend?

I don’t want you to go as I’ll be so alone,

But, Jack… I can make it all end.

We’ll go to the place where they’ve been full of care

And such kindness have shown, year on year.

It will be very hard, but I love you so much

It’s the best I can do now, my dear.

I’ll be with you, old friend, as your pain disappears

And the cares of the world fall away.

But I’ll never forget how you captured my heart

On that long distant, magical day.

The Conversation

What’s it all about then? It all seems rather weird.

I thought that Jesus was a bloke with long hair and a beard!

A sort of “hippy” teacher, in sandals and a frock

Who preached love and forgiveness but became a laughing stock.

Didn’t he have a party on top of some big hill?

It must have been a good one ‘cos they talk about it still!

But when the final crunch came, his mates all ran away;

Now, if he had been genuine, well, don’t you think they’d stay?

You ask me, who was Jesus? Well, he seemed a decent type

But the Son of God? You’re kidding! Don’t you know it’s all just hype?!!

Well, actually, Friend that isn’t quite a true account.

I think you’ll find the party was the Sermon on the Mount.

Another time, he had two fish and five small barley loaves –

They couldn’t get the caterers in to feed the hungry droves –

So Jesus blessed the food and asked his Father to provide,

And then he fed five thousand (with twelve baskets left aside!).

He fed the hungry, healed the sick and caused the blind to see,

And walked upon the water at the Sea of Galilee.

Quite clearly he was more than just a prophet or a preacher.

He wasn’t mad, or off his head, or just some “hippy teacher”!

No, Jesus said he was God’s Son, who’d come to pay the price

For sinful man, and let me say, it wasn’t very nice!p

The price was death! It was the only way to set us free

From judgement, so upon the cross he paid the penalty.

The friends who took his body down had placed it in a tomb,

And rolled a massive boulder there to seal it in the room.

They rested on the Sabbath, but returned the following day

To find the body missing, and they ran out in dismay.

But then they heard the good news, that Jesus was alive –

Just as the prophets had foretold that death he would survive.

Eye witnesses support his resurrection from the grave,

Yet still he is rejected by the ones he came to save.

What else is there to say, my friend? He is the only way.

Perhaps you’d like to meet with him? You only have to say!

The elephant’s trunk

How the elephant got his trunk

Is a matter for debate.

Some say it was a crocodile;

Some think it was just fate.

 

But as he had no fingers,

The elephant, being no fool,

Found his trunk so long and bendy

Was a rather useful tool.

 

It reached up high for tasty leaves

And made a useful straw

For reaching into water holes –

Now who could ask for more?

 

How did the elephant get his trunk?

I wonder what he’d say.

I expect he’d answer “Well, you see,

God just made me this way.”

Look Again

Look up on a bright, sunny day
At the sky, a deep, clear blue.
Its depth is endless,
The vastness of it inconceivable.

Look carefully at the flowers
As they bloom in all their glory.
Such variety, such beauty;
Each one so simple, yet so complex,
But more exotic, more magnificent
Than the finest, most expensive clothes.
Many are the fragrances,
Memories of summers past;
Bringing a smile to the lips
And a warmth to the heart.

Look at the butterflies,
So delicate, so beautiful.
The rich colours hand-painted
With such care and precision.

Look at it all and be amazed,
Be breathless; be overawed!
Could this really have happened by chance?
Could all the magnificence and variety of nature,
The mountains, the forests, the vast deserts,
The oceans teeming with creatures,
All have been an accident?

Look again, with new eyes,
And be overwhelmed
By the love of the Creator.

The testimony of the tree

As the heat of Summer fades, the fire of Jesus’ ministry is made complete in the beauty of Autumn. The golden leaves reflect His Kingship and, as they turn to red, His blood, which was shed for all mankind. The trees, standing tall and firm, remind us of the cross, the crimson leaves falling, like splashes of blood, to the ground below.

As Autumn takes hold, the winds come and the leaves fall faster, forming a red carpet to the place of sacrifice. The storm reaches its peak, the veil is torn! Then, at last, when there are no more leaves to fall, no more drops to drip… death. The cold, still quietness of the tomb; mourning; darkness upon us. The trees, like the empty cross, stand desolate. Only the evergreen holly, with its jagged leaves with needle sharp spikes and its scarlet berries, serves to remind us of the crown of thorns that remained, still covered with drops of His blood, after His body was taken down.

Then, as we reach that darkest moment, the shortest day, we understand what the holly is telling us – that all is not lost. The light will come back. Death has been overcome – Jesus lives! Signs appear, just buds, but full of the promise of new life! Hope returns as the days grow longer and warmer. Shoots push up through the earth, which has lain as cold and barren as the grave throughout the winter. Clusters of beautiful blossom appear, reminding us that we are the Bride of Christ, waiting for our husband, the King, to come and take us to the wedding banquet. The sun shines, the earth is warm, gentle breezes blow and the leaves rustle their praise, branches stretched Heavenwards, giving glory to the One who created them.

If even the trees can tell the story of our Saviour and give Him glory, how much more should we, His children, who are made in His likeness, bear witness to His life and glorify His name…?