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Gravy's Gleanings?!?

I was never a big fan of gravy. When I was a kid, I preferred butter on my mashed potatoes and watched it dissolve into a tiny lake atop my spuds. I was also not fond of gravy for another reason. It was a maddening moniker hung on me as in "Davey Gravy;" disrespectful and not representative of my true genius.  

As I've grown older, however, I find myself warming toward the idea of gravy. It hearkens back to a time in life where my entire family--all six of us, and even seven when my grandpa was living at our house--could sit around a small kitchen table and eat meat and potatoes slathered in gravy and feel guiltless about doing so. My father's perfectly seasoned gravy is largely what gave our food its flavor. Gravy was as close as we came to exotic on an otherwise ordinary table. It was as spicy as we got. And, as hard as it would have been for me to believe when I was young, I have actually become fond of the nickname Gravy.

As far as gleanings are concerned, I tend to be a synthesizer at heart. I gather a bit from this source, then I remember what somebody else said about the topic and I use that, and soon I'm not sure whose thoughts I am channeling. So some of the things you will see here are gleaned from my own mind as in sermons; some pieces will be gleaned from church or world happenings; some things will be what somebody else said about a topic. Wherever it has been gleaned from, it will reflect God's perspective, our struggles, and most importantly, God's forgiveness offered in Jesus that makes us more than conquerors. All of this with special note to theology, counseling and human behavior, linguistics and language, music and worship, and anything else that comes to my liberal arts styled mind.

With those things in mind, welcome to Gravy's Gleanings. I will attempt to serve up generous portions of gleanings to think about, slathered in the gravy of God's Grace. Gravy's gleanings may not always seem as exotic and spicy as you can find elsewhere, but they do provide solid spiritual nourishment. To quote my dearly departed father, "They're good for you, schnookie." And who knows. As time passes, you may actually become fond of them as well.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

In today’s Gospel we come upon a word that grabs our attention. Perhaps it’d the Biblical word that comes closest to describing the heart and the soul of Jesus. Our text simply says that when Jesus saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. The big word for compassion in the New Testament is splaxna, a Greek word from which we get the English word “spleen.” In Greek literature splaxna is used at various times for almost any the vital organs, but basically it means something like “guts.” Splaxna is the shakiness we feel in our guts when moved by contact with suffering. Today we would probably say, “Jesus’ heart went out to the crowds” or “He was so moved his gut was churning.” But regardless of how you say it, to have compassion or to feel pity means that you, too, suffer along with the person upon whom you have compassion. Jesus looked into that crowd, and in a manner of speaking, He saw you and me and every human being who has ever lived. Jesus notice our tendency to go after things that will fulfill us, and He saw a tremendous throng of people who were empty and unfulfilled. So He was moved by their sense of lostness to fill them with what they needed.

You’ll notice first that Jesus fills the people with the bread of life. Our text says. “He began to teach them many things.” Jesus is starting at the beginning with the most basic knowledge that people in this world need. That knowledge begins by pointing out the obvious: without God, there is a gaping hole in life that cannot be filled by any human substance or activity. Even though most of us have been life-long Christians, I think we can sometimes identify with the void that appears when God gets shoved to the back of our priorities. Everything in life feels fine until something goes wrong. Then when we remember it’s time to talk to God about our problems, it dawns on us that we should have been talking this intently to Him all along. Had we done so, perhaps we might have avoided that overwhelming feeling of chaos, knowing that regardless of how things turn out, His hand is leading us, and His love is supporting us. Perhaps we make a resolution to keep ourselves closer to Him in Word and prayer and worship.

Now imagine people who have never had the experience of living securely in relationship with God. All their lives they’ve been chasing after something elusive and never finding it. Maybe it’s my family that’s supposed to make me feel secure and fulfilled. Perhaps I should devote more attention to my job…I think if I started exercising or meditating, that might give me what I’m looking for. It could be that I’ll be content if I make myself as comfortable as possible. But regardless of what the activity may be, ultimately, it’s unsuited to fill the God-shaped hole in our lives.

So Jesus compassionately took their lives apart, as it were. He began by reminding the people that they were created to live in a relationship with God, and only through faith and trust in Him would they ever discover how we humans were designed to live. Jesus taught them that even more important than the bread they put in their mouths is the bread that comes from God’s mouth to their ears—the bread that says, “Only I can do for you what you cannot do for yourself.” And evidently what He told the people was convincing, because they sat and listed long enough to go through the supper hour without even eating. As much as I love all of you who are here this morning, I dread the thought of teaching you when your stomachs are empty and it’s way past the time you should have eaten. Jesus had a whole multitude of people who were hangry, and his compassion wouldn’t allow them to go on that way. So besides feeding them the bread of life, He also gives them daily bread to keep them fed and healthy.

Here’s where Jesus’ compassion really stands out. You’ll notice that the disciples were not as concerned about feeding the people. Their solution to the hangriness of the crowds would have been to send them away to get something for themselves. But that’s where God’s compassion differs from human feelings. God’s compassion goes beyond simply feeling a heart wrenching emotion; it is always demonstrated by action that demonstrates his passion to help people. Throughout the Gospels Jesus' own hands demonstrate His love as he touches the hurting, as he calms the fearful, as he holds someone's hand gently. This God, the Creator of the entire universe, this incarnate Word who could have spoken everything out of existence with one commanding word, this immense, looming Jesus softly held the hand of a blind man. Touched the ears of the deaf. Touched the wasting skin of lepers. Felt the eyes of the blind with his fingers. And in a way that’s not described in today’s reading, His hands bless the bread and multiply the fish so that more than 5,000 people can eat and be satisfied. God is compassionate to the point of wanting to satisfy hunger. And it doesn’t stop there.

You see, Jesus compassion is being demonstrated in spite of people’s motives. The disciples hadn’t been particularly exemplary in the loving motive department, because they had wanted to send the people away. The people themselves had been totally oblivious to their spiritual needs—so much so that later, Jesus will say, “You’ve only been following me because I fed you with bread and fish. You and I, as well, can have selfish motives for wanting Jesus. We have casual attachments to Him—wanting His presence for all the good things He brings, but shrinking away from Him when following Jesus is tough to do.

But in the face of poor motives on our part, Jesus remains compassionate—not wanting any of His sheep to be lost. Ezekiel wrote about Jesus’ actions when he said, 11 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.” And Luke the Gospel writer will speak of this kind of compassion when Jesus describes the Father waiting for his lost son to return: But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

And that brings us to a problem. Some of us have great difficulty believing God to be a God of compassion. Some of us believe that God is a “hard case,” that He’s is too tough to get along with, and even if you could, His rules and demands would choke the average person to death. One man said that when he was near 13 years old a friend told him all about God and His love. But as he got to know his friend better, it seemed to him that there were a lot more things you couldn’t do than things you could do in life. He saw no joy in his friend’s, only a focus on rules and good behavior. The young man decided that evidently, God was no fun, that He was not very compassionate, and that it was quite difficult to make God happy.

What picture of God would people get from looking at your life? Would they see God as a compassionate Father who delights in caring for His children, or would they see God the Divine Cop, God the Inspector, God the maker of rules that you’ll never be able to keep?

Or what about those of us who do understand God’s compassion and love, and we drink it in, but it doesn’t go anywhere after that. That’s not the real problem—it’s just the symptom of a deeper problem called a callused heart. Thick, dead skin wrapped around the nerves of your soul. Toughened, crusty, lifeless tissue which defies feeling and disregards the touch of God’s love. Spiritual calluses result from hours of rubbing up against the fact that God wants you to be as compassionate as He is, but somehow we have a hard time doing that truth. Sin calluses all of our hearts, and causes them to be hardened to God and to others.

But thank God there’s hope! These words of God today can penetrate the calluses of your heart and mine. There’s forgiveness for calloused hearts because Jesus’ hands were pierced in order to pierce the hardened skin of our hearts. And His death and resurrection now give us new hearts, sensitive to the love that God shows us, and sensitive to the love others need.

And incidentally, the young man who didn’t want to become Christian because God was no fun eventually discovered that although a large number of people have callused hearts, God is full of life and love and joy and compassion. There are a lot more things to do when you belonged to God then when you don’t. Eternal life is full of joy and freedom, not just restrictions. God is not a “hard case,” instead, He’s full of compassion for people. God has what you and I need—a sympathetic consciousness of another person’s distress, and a desire to alleviate that distress by showing compassion. Those truths can change your life. Instead of; “I am God, I am going to crush you for making a mistake,” we have a God who says, “I am the God who forgives and helps repentant people who can’t help but make mistakes.”

And that brings us to our final question, “What does God’s compassion mean for you and me as God’s people?” Paul answers it well in 2 Timothy chapter 2. He simply says, “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” In other words, Paul puts up with everybody, he has compassion on everybody, because he knows that Christ has had compassion on him, and that Jesus wants everybody to be saved.

Can it be any different with you? You have a passionate Savior who is moved to compassion, not only over the plight of a hungry, aimless crowd, but Jesus is also moved to compassion because of your troubles. The God who cares enough to help the people in our Gospel cares for you as well. No other so-called God or Savior can be more compassionate than he. Amen.

Lent 5, Sunday, March 13

It's Monday, and it's my usual custom to try to wrap my head around the Scripture readings for Lent 5, Sunday, March 13. Here's my synthesis:

Ever since Adam and Eve sinned against the Lord, He has provided the way to bring us back to Himself. The Introit for this week acknowledges that when it states, “Salvation [the way back] belongs to the Lord.” In the Old Testament reading from Isaiah, God promises to make a new and different way to deliver His people than He did when He brought them through the Red Sea on dry ground. In the Epistle, Paul acknowledges that he cannot do things his way when it comes to returning to God, but instead, he must press on following the way laid out for him in Christ. In the Gospel, shameful tenants follow their own way and evil desires when it comes to giving the Owner of the vineyard the fruit that is due to Him. In the process of insisting on doing things their way, however, the tenants are crushed and broken to pieces by the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
The point of this is to remind us that there are not many ways, but only one way to God: the way of Jesus Christ, His Son. All other so-called paths are arid, fruitless, and ultimately lead to death. In a world where it’s easy to become confused by the tangle of pathways and shortcuts and byways that confront us, the author of Hebrews invites us in the gradual: “Come, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.” Doing so will keep you on God’s chosen path for you and on the way He has provided to bring us back to Himself.

The Face of God

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, a face is a picture of the person who wears it. Babies communicate with their parents by their facial expressions. If I raise one eyebrow or curl my lip, you know what I’m thinking.

There’s a song written largely in questions to Mary the Mother of Jesus. It’s called, “Mary Did You Know?” and it gives us the question on which to ponder tonight. The songwriter asks:

Did you know that your Baby boy has walked where angels trod? And when you kiss you little baby, you have kissed the face of God?

Kissing the face of God?! That’s hard for us to comprehend, but think about it. The eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, present-everywhere God confined Himself to a human form like ours. And, like us—He has a face. Jesus’ face gave clues to what He was thinking. It showed when He was happy, surprised, disgusted, sad, angry and fearful. Actually the Bible says a great deal about God’s face. Let’s think about it together.

Does God our Father have a face? Technically, we would say “No,” because God is a spirit, and spirits don’t have bodies like ours. But as soon as I say that, you will remind me that in the Benediction, we say, “The LORD make His face to shine upon you.” When God’s face shines on us, it means God is favoring His people. In the last line of the benediction, I say, “The LORD look upon you with favor and give you peace.” In Exodus 33 Moses asks God to show Moses His face, and God responds, “Nobody can see My face and live.”

So the answer is that we’re not sure if God’s form has a face like ours, because nobody has ever seen Him.

That’s why He sent Jesus as a man—so we could see God and touch God and look at His face without being afraid of death. And that’s just what the disciples did. In his first epistle, St John writes:

This is what we proclaim to you… what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched.

There’s a family who used to belong to Calvary in Whitewater, and I will never forget the first time I came to their house to visit them. They had three kids under five who all climbed up and sat on my lap and they ran their fingers through my beard and all over my face. Their parents were embarrassed and told the kids to stop, but as a grandfather in withdrawal, I thought it was the best welcome I could ever receive! And that sounds like what John is saying—we saw this guy Jesus, we touched Him and we looked at His face.

What did Jesus look like? The Bible doesn’t really tell us, but Isaiah writes, “He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” That makes it sound like Jesus, the Servant Messiah, was an ordinary looking Palestinian Jewish peasant of His day.

But the disciples saw the happy smile on Jesus’ face when he left Zacchaeus’s house and said, “Today salvation has come to this house!” They saw His face cry tears of sadness for the city of Jerusalem. They observed the stern anger on His face when Jesus said, “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You cross land and sea to make one convert, and when you get one, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves!” They saw His face in anguish as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

And the face no follower of Jesus can ever forget is the face bloodied, bruised, sweating, and twisted in pain on the cross of Calvary. At that moment, the face of Jesus didn’t resemble the picture you and I have in our hearts of the Son of God. Instead, it resembled the face of the most hideously evil man who ever lived, the face of the person for whom death is too good. That’s because his painful face resembled the face of a condemned sinner carrying all the world’s sin and evil in His body on the cross.

But there was also love and determination on His face as well. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says:

I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. But the Lord God helps me; therefore, I have not been disgraced; therefore, I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.

The face of God, grimacing in agony, is our rescue. But after the face of God’s agony comes the face of God’s triumph! And that’s where your face comes into the picture.

In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet says, “And I will not hide my face anymore from them….” The days are coming soon when the words of Revelation chapter 22 will be true for you and me: God’s people “will see His face, and His name will be upon their foreheads.” Until that day comes, we have God’s glory shone to us, in the face of Jesus, the infant who bears the face of God. His face shine upon your Advent! Amen.

Incarnation

This year during Advent at Living Savior, we are thinking about various aspects of Jesus' incarnation: His becoming fully God and fully man in one person. I'm so used to just rattling that thought off as a fact, that I can lose the mystery and the marvel of God becoming human. It's so full of paradoxes that I'm not sure anybody is capable of unpacking all of them. This is my attempt.

 

Marvel of manhood that receives,

Endless majesty bound in fleshly form.

Conceivèd Babe whose hand conceived creation,

Godhead meekly clothed in human frame.

 

Is the wonder of Your Advent, mystery?

Or is it love that staggers human view?

Or cunning means to slay the serpent foe,

By power enwrapped in weakness fiercely dealt?

 

A mother births the Maker of the cosmos,

A maiden bears Creation's Author frail.

Should mortal root produce a deathless Vintage,

Or common clay give breath to Holy Sire?

 

Quizzical quandary beyond our penetration,

That flesh and Godhead meet within one Man,

Conciliating Heaven and its creation.

The infant face of God smiles at the thought.

Peace in the Face of Pain Philippians 1:2-11

Physician, Scott Peck, once referred to it as “The Road Less Traveled.” C.S. Lewis once described it as “God’s megaphone.” Christian author Philip Yancey said, “It’s the gift that nobody wants and seems so confusing.” The English poet, Byron, once called it “the pathway to truth.” But no matter what metaphor you use to describe it, pain drives people to try to make sense of things by asking why questions: Why this? Why me? Why now? Why, God? Even though God is in the midst of our pain with us, it doesn’t take away the challenge of trying to make sense of brokenness in life and the anguish that comes with it. Paul’s personal experience of pain, and his words in today’s Epistle give our pain some perspective. Let’s talk about it.

I.Paul

It’s quite an understatement to say that Paul was acquainted with pain and suffering. Listen to how he describes his experiences elsewhere in the Bible:

Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea. I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep. I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food. I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

On top of that list of calamities, today’s reading from Philippians finds Paul in prison!

Our translation calls it imprisonment, but the original language has Paul referring to his chains. Listen to what one resource says about chaining prisoners in ancient prisons:

The chaining of prisoners caused various consequent sufferings. Iron chaffed and corroded the skin over time. Tightly fixed chains were a means of torture. Prisoners could be weighed down with such heavy chains as to exhaust or cripple them. Without recourse to personal resources or the help of friends on the outside for food and drink, a prisoner’s prospects could be grim.

And that description doesn’t mention the emotional pain that comes from being unjustly held in chains.

Knowing the conditions that Paul was living under, we could certainly refer to him as a victim of injustice. But how does Paul deal with his appalling situation? Does he complain about his circumstances? Does he ask the Philippians to organize a protest? Not at all! Instead, Paul has peace, and he dwells on all the gifts God had given to him and the Philippians.

These opening verses find Paul at peace in spite of his painful circumstances! And he is so much at peace in Christ that he can extend God’s grace and peace to the Philippians. That’s a typical greeting from Paul’s day—wishing charis or grace, a Greek greeting; and shalom or peace, a Hebrew greeting. Paul’s covering his bases so that he’s greeting both the Jewish Christians who spoke Hebrew and the Gentile Christians who spoke Greek. But there’s so much more to these words than a simple, “How are you doing?”

Grace and peace are the things Paul has in common with the Philippians—the things they share in Jesus. First, they both share in g-r-a-c-e. Besides those letters spelling the word “grace,” they can also stand for God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. That acronym spells out how God gives us His grace—on account of our Savior, Jesus. God’s grace—His undeserved love—brings peace both to the Philippians and to prisoner Paul. In spite of the pain he was enduring, Paul has the peace of knowing that the war between him and God is over. And the Philippians and you and I have the peace of knowing that whatever it is that you feel most ashamed of doing in your life, no matter how many times you’ve done it, even if you’re still trapped in in doing it now, God has pledged Himself to forgive you and put you at peace when you turn to Him in repentance.

Paul mentions that the Philippians are in partnership with him. In reality it’s a three-way partnership: God, Paul and the Philippians. First, they have a partnership in the Gospel, because of their mutual faith, and because the Philippians are supporting Paul’s mission financially. Then Paul says something that makes us think: “For you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” Partners in Paul’s imprisoned pain?! Absolutely, because Scripture says when one of us is hurting, all of us hurt.

Here’s something for you to ponder. All of us want to be independent. None of us wants to burden our fellow Christians with our problems. We want to handle things on our own—carry our own weight, as it were.

The only problem with that approach is that we were never designed to do that. When God created Adam, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” That statement was made when the world was still sinless and perfect. Can you imagine how important avoiding suffering in solitude is outside the Garden of Eden, in a sinful world? One of the reasons God puts us in a congregation of people is so we have the opportunity to be in a three-way partnership with Him and our fellow believers. We bear with and comfort one another in our pain. Elsewhere Paul says:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort, too.

As incredible as it may sound, God doesn’t want you to bear your pain alone, not only because that pain can overcome you, but also because your pain is an opportunity for your fellow Christians to minister to you and to comfort you! It’s been said that God never wastes a wound. Instead of simply allowing pain, God wants to use it for your growth, and also, for the growth of your fellow believers. For you, the phrase has been transformed from “No pain, no gain,” into, “No pain comes without gain.” Gain for you, but also gain for those who minister to you in your pain.

  1. Jesus

Paul can say that only because he also writes, “He, who began a good work in you, will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” The Greek word that translates as completion carries the meaning of bringing an activity to a successful finish—to fully accomplish something. When pain overwhelms us, it’s all too easy for us to forget that the God who is using our pain for our benefit also knows how we are going to successfully finish the course of pain in our life, because He has and He will continue to fully accomplish His plan for our rescue from sin day by day!

That same Greek word is used in the Gospel of John when God was fully accomplishing His plans to rescue the entire world through our Savior’s death on the cross. There, from within the most intense agony ever experienced by a human being, Jesus’ last cry on the cross was: “Tetelestai.” “It is finished.” “It is successfully completed.” “It is accomplished.” God used the pain of His Son’s death to transform all of your pain into gain.

Jesus’ words, “It is completed” give us a new dimension to viewing life. Think about all the good news you hear. All the bad news. All the difficulties you encounter. All the blessings. The unanticipated happiness. The unexpected trouble. It all has God’s divine purpose behind it. No matter what occurs in my life—good or bad—I can truly say, “Without this, I would not be ready for the day of Christ.” That’s the kind of Good News that will give you joy and security no matter what kind of pain and suffering you are facing.

In many ways, all of us want to be control freaks. As much as possible, we want to be in control of the happenings in our lives and avoid chaos. But it’s impossible for us to avoid the confusion that comes with suffering in a sinful world. Anybody who has ever lost a loved one can identify with those unnerving questions of, “What should I do now?” Who do I call next? What’s going to happen to me in the future? Today’s word from Paul is a sweet reminder that in the midst of the agonizing and the disorder, you can have peace, because God is in control, and He is using the agony and disorder to complete His plans for you.

  1. You and Me

So what good is this word about peace in the face of pain during Advent? How about that these are good words because they help us face reality? It’s been said that there are three kinds of people in this world: those who are going into trouble, those who are in trouble, and those who have come out of trouble and are getting ready to cycle back through it all again!

Many of us are searching for meaning, purpose, and value in life. Others of us are having troubles in our marriages. Some of us suffer from loneliness. Others of us struggle with disease—either in our lives or in the life of a loved one. Some of us still ache from the loss of loved ones in our lives—either by death, or by separation. Others of us are struggling with addictive sins. Many of us face a shortage in our finances. Others of us are depressed or anxious, overscheduled, overstressed, or simply bored with the routine race of life. However you want to describe these difficulties, they cause us physical or emotional pain.

Those things by themselves would be bad enough, but to add to the problem, most of us try to sanitize our lives by telling others everything is okay. Sometimes our denial is so complete that we can even fool ourselves. But notice how it happens in today’s Epistle. Paul acknowledges his being in prison. He’s also alluding to the fact that he had been dependent on the generosity of the Philippians just to survive. By the standards of our day, it’s a little surprising that Paul doesn’t try to cover up and say everything is all right. He acknowledges God’s gifts and he doesn’t cover up his difficulties. And it’s all because when you’re loved by someone who cares deeply for you, it’s easy to acknowledge both the good and the bad.

This next week, this Advent, and for the rest of our lives, I’d like to challenge you to be honest about pain. Like Paul, you, too can be at peace in spite of your painful circumstances! God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense—His undeserved, unimaginable love—brings peace both to Paul and to you. In spite of any pain you may be enduring, the war between you and God is over. You and I have the peace of knowing that whatever it is you feel most ashamed of, no matter how many times you’ve done it, even if you’re still trapped in in doing it now, God has pledged Himself to forgive you and put you at peace as we turn to Him in repentance. Now is the perfect time to do it. Amen.

Advent Anxiety

Confession is good for the soul. As a pastor, sometimes the extra preparation around Advent and Lent is a cause for anxiety [imagine that].  I penned these words for myself, and for all who suffer from Advent anxiety in its many forms. Enjoy.

    Advent Anxiety

Comes a thought of Christmas,
Let your heart not fear,
All the things to ready,
As the Day comes near.
For from in the Manger,
Comes a Word divine,
"Take the peace I give you,
Let your cares be Mine."

All the machinations
All the plans I lay
Can despoil the wonder
Of His natal day
For from in the Manger
Comes a Word divine
"Take My ready-making,
Let its fit be thine."

Peace returns but meekly
Worries slow depart
As an Infant readies
Every weak-faithed heart
Hasten then, the hours!
Let the days grow slim.
Anxious hearts are fitted,
Who by faith know Him. 

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