Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Reflections Luke 2: 21-24

 Only a pair of doves
The most they could afford.
No lamb was offered up
In payment for the Lord.

No lamb was offered up.
They brought the Lamb of God,
The Shepherd of the sheep,
Who came to shed his blood.

No lamb was offered up
Before the altar there;
They brought the spotless One
The Lamb beyond compare.

Come to fulfil the law
Come to die in our place
To end all sacrifice
All other lambs replace.

Only a pair of doves,
No lamb for him was given:
The perfect Lamb of God

The saviour come from heaven.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Reflection Luke 2: 8-20

This place where angels can’t contain their joy
Is not the habitation of the great
No priest proclaims this wonder, and no king
Welcomes God’s messengers in high estate.

Outside the city, on the lonely hills
Where Israel’s outcasts watch the temple flock,
In the deep dark, the sleepy, half-dazed hour:
It is bored shepherds whom the angels shock.

To them, and them alone, the news is given.
Unto the least is shared the wonder-song
Of highest heaven: God has come to earth
And he is worshipped by the angel-throng.

Not by our pious platitudes will we
Posture ourselves to stand where angels hymn.
Not by the merits which we seek to earn
Do we gain favour with the seraphim.

Christ did not sit on a religious throne
But, torn and bruised, went out the city gate,
And on a bitter hill salvation wrought,
Bearing our sin, our death, our hell, our hate

And in the darkened silence of the tomb
Death was reversed, and glory, glory came.
These are the places where men meet with God,
These are the places where we learn his name.

And like the shepherds, we must rise and go
First to behold him, and then to proclaim.
Speaking with wonder of the Christ we know
Who met us in our silence and our shame.


Sunday, March 01, 2015

Reflections Luke 2: 6-7

Always the outsider God,
The one we have no room for.
Our plans are full, our diaries marked
With heavy expectations, (ours and theirs).
The scheduled life denies
All serendipity.
The grindstone grinds us down.

What does it take to move us from the hellish bent
Of mortal fullness?
Where are hands outstretched
In empty supplication?
To forget
Our least-ness is to hurtle down to beast-ness.

Lord, interpose
Your sword-sharp glory slicing through our days,
Shearing away the dross of mindlessness,
Cutting a path to worship once again;
Making a way back home.

Let us make room for you;
Relinquishing the paltry to make room for grace,
Seeing you where we’d rather turn our backs,
Turning again, again,
Returning to the place we should have been,
To kneel in wonder on the stable floor.

And see god’s glory there, amidst the straw.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reflections Luke 2: 1-5

Man does and God fulfils. Time after time
We stretch ourselves into necessity
Doing what we think needful. All the while
God’s promise comes to pass. We, small and weak,
Of little wisdom, wind our little way
From one day to the next with our small plans,
While the stars smile at us, the sun looks down
The wind blows where it will. Things shift and turn
With logic that defies us, yet we act
With such free will as bonds of space and time
Allow us – and the will of God is done!

Caesar Augustus, there in far off Rome
Made his decree, a census sentenced he,
And never knew the prophet long ago
Had said that Bethlehem would be the place
Wherein the child of wonder would be born.
He never knew that one of David’s seed
To David’s town must travel for his birth
As God had said it would be from of old.

Nor do we know, in each day’s little span,
What reach our hands may have, what they may touch,
What wings our words are given, by God’s grace,
What ordinary things may serve their turn,
What vastness of eternity’s design
Hinges on us unknowing. Or what prayer

Moves a great mountain which we never see?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Reflections Luke 1: 67-80

Let me not be defeated by the night.
Open my eyes to gaze upon your light.

Let no sorrows overwhelm me,
Or the whispered brush of fear;
Let no anxiety
Make me oblivious to mercy,
Give me stars to lift my vision
And a torch to light my way.

Let me not be defeated by the night.
Open my eyes to gaze upon your light.

Let me not turn aside
From the studied path of faith,
Let no discouragement
Drain away my courage.
May the shadow of death pass over me
And the light of heaven shine.

Let me not be defeated by the night.
Open my eyes to gaze upon your light.

Let me know your tender mercy
Is not banished by men’s words;
You made us and you know us
And your promise is fulfilled
Through bitter cross and empty tomb
Your promise is fulfilled.

Let me not be defeated by the night.
Open my eyes to gaze upon your light.

You have visited and redeemed your people
We will be with you forever.
You have bought us back and paid the price
We will be with you forever

Let me not be defeated by the night.

Open my eyes and let me drink your light.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Reflections Luke 1: 57-66

The forerunner is born. The tongue once dumb
Is loosed again to speak with glory-praise;
And all around must question, “What is this
That God has caused such wonders in our days?”

Lord, in this hour, loose my silenced tongue,
My “tact” that is nine-tenths all cowardice,
That measures words to match the social cloth,
And never says a sentence out of place.

Let me admit my fears, my shames, my fails:
All the forgiven things that show your grace;
But let me also say how you have healed,
Have lifted up my head and washed my face.

Let me proclaim you are the only God,
And no created being shares your throne.
Infinite mercy? Yes! But still the Lord,
And every knee must bow to you alone.

Let me admit your kingdom’s shearing truth
The sword that cuts through to the very heart
The measure that you measure we must own,
And walk in light and bear our faithful part.

But let me speak, first, above all, supreme
Of Jesus and the death he died for me,
Died in my place so I might live in him.

Lord, take this craven tongue and set it free!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Reflections on Luke 1:46-56

And this is holiness.
Here,
The turning round
Of all our expectations,
The undoing
Of every single potentate and power
By which we build our small securities.

Only the humble,
The broken ones,
The ones who have no faith
In the works of their own hands
Can enter in
To the cataclysmic kingdom.
Mercy comes
To those who know they need it.

Come then, Lord,
Shatter the old, fond idols once again.
Let me see them as illusions,
Let me know
That they do not collaborate with you.

Come to the place of tears,
Come, fill the empty,
Let your miracle flow forth for those
Who know their need of you.
Help us become small enough
To enter the tiny door of the looking-glass kingdom
The door that leads
To the garden of your glory.

Take away our falsehoods

For Holy is your Name.