As Christmas Day dwindles to dusk
a wondrous jubilation stirs the air:
that darkness can fall
and night cover all
but the Light of the gospel grows brighter.
Welsh hymn by William Rees; Translator, William Edwards
Here is love, vast as the ocean,
lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our ransom,
shed for us his precious blood.
Who his love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing his praise?
He can never be forgotten,
throughout heav’n’s eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion,
fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
poured incessant from above,
And heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
kissed a guilty world in love.
Awakened to an eerie self-examination of the soul
on the steel-cold surface under surgically precise lights
unentombing cancers, contagion-carrying arteries, dismembered
corruption to the dispassionate gaze of an Enemy brooding,
Still sweating under the administered fumes seeping
through pores, guilt-driven language of parents driven
from home to carnage of children preying on children, warfare
of wretched depravity in the eyes of a man, a woman seething,
Cannot speak, cannot hear, cannot see, cannot feel anything
but the weight of irreversible fate, the darts of the Enemy
injections of delirious oblivion only to awaken to endless night
where no refuge lies from grief and fear and the hate pursuing,
Helpless, my tongue dry, the light dims, darkness closes in,
but a voice is heard, a minister to prophesy over the bitter
collocation of bones, unholy, “O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!”-
prophesy!- in the body and the blood a Life that is not mine breathes,
The lamb has yet to lay down with the lion
There is no peace in any day and age
Look beyond your walls! Can you not see
Enemies at the gates, barbarians rising
To receive as their bounty your life,
Your fortune, your freedom denied?
So cries one, and still another rages,
Voices of confusion and calamity.
Where will you go, with whom will you struggle
To find the security you seek within your walls
Where disease and misfortune and betrayal
Lurk at corners beyond your control?
Life in all its disarray where even within your soul
The enemy lurks to cause you to despair when hope
Seems all but lost, meaning all but gone, love
All but illusion – Where then to find the truth
That sets free? Who the author and the champion?
Who the founder and the deliverer – but God?
Things can fall apart so fast
Entropy is the law of the land
But when you come and pick me up
I know I can rebuild.
Bits of life flake away
As I go through each day
Little deaths along the way
But with you, I can rebuild.
Eternal God, you never leave
Though willfully I’ve torn apart
The life that you have given me
In Christ you help me to rebuild.
Now with thankful hope I pray
And think upon that glorious day
When in heaven I’ll rejoice and say
O God, you helped me to rebuild.
(A retelling of the story of Abraham and Isaac)
A weary journey, a wakeful night,
They left their camp before daylight
An old man carrying the weight of years
Wrinkled cheeks wet with tears
At hearing the young boy at his side
Prattle on with childish pride
That he alone had been chosen
To help his father on this mission.
In the granite of city streets
is lost the sound of hope;
nor on a plain or hillside steep
no echo’s heard of struggles deep
within a heart alone.
It’s not so difficult to believe that God, the Creator of the universe, sings. After all, he made so many creatures that can sing including humans (to varying degrees), birds, crickets, wolves, frogs, dolphins, yes, even mice!
There is singing in all of creation in one form or another, the sounds of nature in the air, earth, and sea. There are those who have believed in the singing of the stars, the music of the spheres as they move about it space.
I borrow, you borrow, we borrow
She borrows, he borrows, they borrow
The world borrows and borrows to joint sorrow
Hoping there will always be tomorrow.
What, then, do we borrow to our self-destruction
But justice delayed for the satisfaction
Of a life of pursuing our corrupt passion
And ignoring those who need our compassion?
Say, it’s tricky, quite tricky, isn’t it,
To talk to a squirrel or a rock or a tree
Or a painting by your favorite artist
And believe that somehow it can see
The heart of you that can bleed
And give you all that you desperately need?
Or maybe you talk to the farmer as he hoes
Or the doctor you pay two hundred by the hour
Or your friend who is trying on her clothes
Or the starry-eyed fan who brings you a flower
And say there’s a part of you that’s dying inside
A soul-crushing pain from which you can’t hide.