Why? Why, dear souls, do we insist
On clinging to our chains?
We who now wear robes which persist,
Why love we still the stains?
Christ bore the wrath our sin had earned.
No fear of death remains.
Forsake the things in Christ you spurned,
These passions and these pains.
For freedom, Christ has set us free,
And we are free indeed
From ev’ry subtle slavery
And ev’ry stifling weed.
No longer do we bear the curse
Of final poverty.
Heed now the joyful second verse:
Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash
How should the people of the light respond to threats from the great darkness in this world?
These tests, although they vex us so,
Have no eternal consequence
Save that they serve to stretch and grow
Our faith in God’s omnipotence.
Disrupting our complacency
And any semblance of control,
He opens up our eyes to see
That he alone can make us whole.
He takes from us what we would keep
To give us what we truly need.
All lack of supper, safety, sleep
Recalls to us the ancient creed,
That Christ has lived and Christ has died
And Christ returned to life again,
And God, not sparing him, supplied
Our cause for hope, our good, our gain.
Make me more like you and less like me.
Or rather, make me more the me
That you created me to be.
Help me, when I look at me, to see
The image of your son whose blood
Was shed to set this captive free.
He, the perfect paragon, oh he
Has overcome the curse of death,
Has brought to man a saving breath.
No one else can satisfy but thee.
You call to us with holy roar.
We worship you forevermore.
The gospel is the poetry of truth,
For in it love and beauty condescend
From heav’n above to take the form of youth:
A righteous life to cover those who sinned.
Redemption’s plan was fixed before the fall.
The father, through his prophets, has foretold
The coming of the king who sounds the call
To all who under sin and death are sold.
Twas at the proper time and proper place
The son himself engaged man’s greatest foe,
And by his death the dead were made alive.
Alive again, the word of love and grace
Inaugurates his kingdom here below,
And all who know him evermore shall thrive.
I caught myself examining the theology of Ed Sheeran songs the other day. Granted, I’m pretty sure he’s not writing songs with God in mind; he seems to say as much. Even so, some of his lyrics reflect imagery and ideas found in Christianity, and I like trying to figure out what he might believe based on what he sings (for instance, I’m pretty sure he’s not a Gnostic based on “Shape of You”). Continue reading
Stained with sin but for your grace, I
Long to look upon your face. Thy
Never-failing word commands my
Failing heart to focus. Faith is
Crying, “Father, stoke us. Take this
Weakened will in your hands.” Of his
Life and death and life again, I
Sing, a breath midst strife and sin. Thy
Son resplendent understands my
War with this temptation. Such is
Life till death’s cessation. In this
Hope my salvaged soul stands, all his.
We place our memories upon the tree
Along with colored lights and tinsel spheres,
Traditions carried on through many years
Displayed for ev’ry passerby to see.
Together with our friends and family
We celebrate the end of earthly fears
Proclaimed by angels unto shepherd ears,
The Gospel passed along to you and me.
As days pass by, these trees are brought and burned.
We gather ’round the bonfire and are warmed
As friends and fam’ly fellowship again.
More blessed still, the God whom we have spurned
Has sent his son to save the world he formed,
And in our songs, this truth is our refrain.
The greatest gift of all was born –
The gift of Christmas presence:
The God-man facing scorn and thorn
To save the sinful peasants.
Unto a race which cried for blood
Christ Jesus came fulfilling
The Father’s plan foretold in flood,
Worked out in Christ’s own killing.
But death of son meant death of sin.
The devil was defeated.
Christ’s rising brought new life to men,
And God will not be cheated.
So let the gospel ring this year
In ev’ry celebration,
And speak with joy to ev’ry ear
Of peace to ev’ry nation.
I love fall. As weather begins to cool and leaves begin to litter the ground, I always find myself feeling excited for the change. Growing up in south Louisiana, I became used to heat and humidity, so any change from that constant is most welcome. Continue reading