Wednesday, 25 December 2013
A Very Happy Christmas to readers of my blog!
From the Bible, Matthew chapter 1 verses 18 – 25 -
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”
A Hymn -
THE Son of God, in mighty love,
Came down to Bethlehem for me,
Forsook His throne of light above,
An infant on the earth to be.
In love, the Father’s sinless Child
Sojourned at Nazareth for me;
With sinners dwelt the Undefiled,
The Holy One in Galilee.
Jesus Whom angel hosts adore,
Became a man of griefs for me:
In love, though rich, becoming poor,
That I, through Him, enriched might be.
Though Lord of all, above, below,
He went to Olivet for me;
He drank my cup of wrath and woe,
And bled in dark Gethsemane.
The ever-blessèd Son of God
Went up to Calvary for me:
There paid my debt, there bore my load
In His own body on the tree.
He finished all! the veil was rent;
Salvation now is sure and free;
I leave behind my banishment,
O Father, to return to Thee!
Horatius Bonar, 1808-89
A Poem -
Is This The One?
Is this the One, this Babe laid in a manger,
Is this the One of whom the prophets spoke,
This Child taken to Egypt from great danger
This Child who made His home with humble folk?
Is this the One upon the lonely hillside,
Leaving the crowds to spend the night in prayer;
He who the priests and Pharisees derided,
Will He God’s saving purposes declare?
He came, not as a king to free the nation
To bring deliverance from Roman rule.
He came to bring a different salvation,
Deliv’rance from an enemy more cruel.
So long had man been held in sin’s hard bondage,
So long had fearsome death held men in fear,
So long had God’s great promise stood, to engage
In battle, and in victory appear.
And so the Saviour came, and by His dying
Paid penalty for sin, defeated death;
With His own life man’s full salvation buying,
Cried, “It is finished” with His dying breath.
Finished the reign of sin and death and sorrow,
For all who trust in His redeeming blood;
Opened the way to life and joyful morrow,
In heaven’s eternal day where all is good.
There reigns the risen Saviour, place preparing
For all His people to be with Him there:
There in His vic’try and His glory sharing
In beauty, joy and love beyond compare.
© Jean Stapleton 2013
“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3 v 16).