December 22, 2006

A Freebie

Okay, this isn't technically a Christmas poem...but it is about Jesus! So I'll throw it in for free with your annual subscription! I'll post this year's Christmas poem (#5) on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

The Disciple’s Song
Based on 1 John 1:1

1. What Was from the Beginning
As darkness hovered o’er the deep
And earth was still a miry heap;
Before the Dippers hung in place
Or moon was lit with manly face,
And man had not from clay been wrought
And paradise was just a thought;
Before the dawn by sun was kissed
Our blessed Christ still did exist.

Before the devil scoffed His might
And led his angels in their flight,
Or left his tracks on virgin sod
And bade man shake his fist at God;
Before man’s fall was yet fulfilled,
Before His blood must needs be spilled,
Before all flesh in sin was damned,
Christ waited, slain, the precious Lamb.

When Abram lived in ancient Ur,
Where nomads dressed in cloaks of fur,
God plucked him up like desert rose
And led him to the land He chose.
He promised him a mighty clan
While Abram still was just one man.
Before his offspring God did bless,
Through faith Christ was his righteousness.

It did not take the fall of man,
Nor promise made to Abraham,
Nor God’s creation turned to vice—
He always was and is the Christ.

2. What We Have Heard
Our hands were blistered bloody red
From mending nets where fish had fled.
Our temples beat like warring drums.
Our ears were filled with seaside hums
Of market slang and bickering
And haughty laughs and snickering.
But then above the deaf’ning noise,
A gift of God: The Master’s voice.

The beauty of “Come follow Me”
Made boats and nets and fish and sea
Seem like a chasing after wind
Given the chance to follow Him
Whose words could sting like whirling sand
“Gouge out your eye! Cut off your hand!”
and even harsher phrases said,
“Repent or you shall all be dead.”

But harshness always dripped with grace
As sweet as honey to the taste.
A word could meet a beggar’s need
Or splint a bruised and wilting reed.
That voice robust with sovereign might
Became a salve for blinded sight,
A balm for leper’s rotten skin,
A flood to cleanse the stain of sin.

This word that caused out hearts to burn
Will never shade, nor shift, nor turn.
We testify to what we heard—
The Son of God, the Living Word.

3. What We Have Seen with Our Eyes
He grew up as a tender shoot.
He wore no jewels, nor sash, nor suit.
His clothes were of the working trade—
Sturdy, clean, and slightly frayed.
A carpenter with hands rubbed raw
From gripping hammer, adze, and saw.
This Nazarene, a faithful son
Was also the Anointed One.

Before our eyes He fed a host:
Five thousand men, two fish, five loaves.
With gentle hands He felt at ease
To bounce the toddlers on His knees,
Or tickle them and watch their grins,
Or wipe the crumbs off of their chins.
He was a Shepherd for His flock;
A gentle, kind, but solid Rock.

This Man the leaders put to test.
With blackened hearts they tried their best
To lasso Him with Moses’ Law,
But in Him they could find no flaw.
And when He did not take their bait,
A story they did fabricate—
“He does not do as Caesar said!”
“O Pilate, we would have Him dead.”

And so we watched His form be marred—
In cowardice, watched from afar.
On that good day we saw God’s grace,
Eyes fixed on Him who took our place.

4. What Our Hands Handled
This one who washed our sinful feet
Was now wrapped in a corpse’s sheet.
But mangled flesh and strangled screams
And bloodsoaked garments filled our dreams.
But then burst Mary in the room—
“I have been to the Master’s tomb!
He is not dressed in fun’ral shroud.
I kissed His hand. He spoke out loud!”

Alive, He came to us that night;
And robed in garments glorious white.
Our hearts whose light had been so dim,
Burst open wide to worship Him.
We bowed our knees with trembling souls
To kiss His feet—and felt the holes
Where flesh was to that wood affixed
And blood with rust and splinters mixed.

Unworthy men touched hands and side
Where God’s own wrath had been applied.
Those wounds in hands and feet and head,
Our nightmares while his frame lay dead,
No longer red like aged wine,
But firm and white, as healed by time.
This truth now touched our fingertips—
“Death could not hold Him in its grip!”

Our hearts were filled with holy hush.
The One whom God was pleased to crush
With Roman lash, and stake, and sword
Was in our arms, the risen Lord.

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