Before your throne
I bow my face
To you alone.
I give my heart.
Make it your own.
Imprint your will
Upon my soul.
And make me whole.
Out of my lips
May praise ring true
That I may bring
Glory to you.
September 2006 by Glen Alan Woods
Have you ever danced to the tune of a heart set free by the gospel of Jesus Christ? The angels do. (Luke 15:7,10) When someone obeys the message of the gospel and repents of sin, giving both heart and life to God, there is rejoicing which resounds in the heavens, just as there should be rejoicing here on earth. When a person believes on the Lord Jesus Christ with reference to his sinless life, and his sacrificial death, burial and bodily resurrection, he or she is adopted as children into the family of God (Ephesians 1:5). What a cause for rejoicing! What an occasion for dancing to the tune of a heart set free.
The hour is late. The quiet is come. Solace for a weary mind; a full heart. And in the silence, I choose to meditate on Psalm 67. May God’s fame spread throughout the lands as praise mounts up from the lips of people who declare Jesus as their Lord. And may his “ways be known on earth,” his “salvation among the nations” (Ps. 67:2). Truly, “may all the peoples praise you, O God” (Ps. 67: 3,5).
Last Sunday I had encouraged the kids to give a talent show as a way to end our morning. There were various expressions of talent which the kids expressed. One of them, a 6 year-old girl, sang “Here I am to Worship.” My, how she sang. On key. Clear. With feeling. And she worshipped. And the rest of us stood in awe, attentive and worshipping as well. What was intended as a simple filler for a service gone long, ended up being a serendipitous opportunity to discover previously hidden talent in a small child, and to express hearts of worship as a community for the Lord God. These are the kinds of moments which present themselves in the midst of, and sometimes in spite of our plans and expectations. And I marvel at the Lord’s work in growing young lives.
sheep without a shepherd;
teeming masses confused;
cacophony of anger
under Herod’s rule;
and he was moved….
to search for a great leader
rising in their midst
among the house of David
and strike down their unrest….
they longed for fulfillment.
they yearned for Messiah
to strike down the oppression
and raise the banner high.
and He was moved….
to come as a baby
born of the virgin, Mary
in obscure and humble milieu;
Immanuel, God with us.
and He was moved….
to save us from our sins;
to deliver us from evil;
to fulfill the law and prophets
spotless Lamb; true Messiah, the Christ.
Our King of Kings.
Our Great High Priest.
The Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world.
Once a child, fully human and fully God;
The Good Shepherd who calls His sheep to His fold
in the midst of a world of Herods….
and He was moved….
24 December 2007 by Glen Alan Woods
For more of my poetry you may go to poetrybyglen.blogspot.com.
This song touches my heart at a deep level. I pray that it blesses you as you celebrate Christmas Eve. Whether you are alone or with your family, know that Jesus is with you right where you are.
Christmas draws close in this late hour in the season of Advent. Thoughts of family and friends lie close to the surface. Those in need also attract my attention. The harried hustle of consumer ideals hold little appeal for me. I avoid malls altogether. Rather, I am reminded of the blessing of community as I seek ways to connect with others close by. People generally tend to be more distant in the winter, as if the cold and dark rainy days conspire with hectic lifestyles to cause them to withdraw.
Accustomed as I am to living alone, I still seek ways to live out the presence of Christ in my community: a smile as I enter a local shop to purchase supplies from the business owner; a moment of shared laughter as the gas station attendant tells a joke; a friendly greeting as I say hello to co-workers first thing in the morning. Such simple things. One hopes that a consistent lifestyle of friendliness will have a positive influence on those around me. If the gracious impact of others on me is any indication, then the outlook seems bright, even in the dark winter months.
It would be easy for me to retreat altogether. By default it would be my preference. But discipleship is not about following the path of least resistance. It is about following the way of Jesus Christ, the way of the Cross.
In that distant land, shrouded in obscurity, the Christ child lay in his mother’s arms, father attending close by. The star that shone awaked the attention of the magi and guided their journey through hostile territory to the Messiah. The angels that sang awakened the attention of the shepherds out in the fields tending their sheep at night. In an obscure land and in a worn stable, far from home, with tens of thousands of people traveling to comply with the census, God made sure that those whom he chose to discover the baby Jesus in the care of his family, would do so unencumbered by the machinations of Herod’s plots.
It was a season of worship and of loving community. A family in sojourn was attended by an audience brought to them by God. The way of Jesus Christ, the way of the Cross, had been set in motion, as foretold by the prophets of old. And as I remember the Advent of Christ Jesus, I do so in awe of what his incarnation means in the life we now live and in the day of his appearing, when he calls his saints home.