Friday, December 25, 2009

My Christmas Gift

This year once again, our family decided to focus on sharing 'presentations' instead of presents - either in word or music. I decided to write a poem on the obedience of Christ, and I found both the writing and the reading of it very encouraging. I hope you find it so too.

Advent Poem - The Lawkeeper
When long ago all things that are
Came into life from what was not,
It was submission to command
Of nothing to the word of God.
Time, light-years, sunshine, moonlight, stars
Green ivy, chattering parakeets
Fruit-heavy trees and brilliant flowers
Fish swimming shimmering rivers deep
Were fueled by atoms that obeyed
That word commanding them to be
They lived as wisdom's pow'r displayed
In slavery that made them free.

The tawny lion, bounding bold
Through high fields thick with golden grain
Knew not that his strong frame obeyed
A law that pulsed through all his veins.
Yet he was bound by that one law
That sounded through the milky way
In silence, in the bubbling brook
"All things their Maker must obey"

And after the unknowing things
Had come to be, God made a man
To image him, in thought and will
To understand and love His plan.
Here was creation's shining crown
Who could articulate that law,
Obey, not thoughtless, but with love
And of His Maker stand in awe.
To man God spoke his wise commands
That man might do them willingly.
And if he would submit and live
By them, he would be truly free.

But, woe! To man a voice declared
Dark whispers of another way,
Emancipating happy slaves:
"Your Maker you need not obey"
And willing man believed the lie
That he could rise above that law
By which he lived and moved and breathed
Thus came his death; thus was his fall.

Fruit from a tree? How could it be
That eating should be so condemned?
That biting was a mortal strike
Against a law which must not end.
This strike sent wailing tremors through
The universe of living things
The law that made and blessed them had
Been broken by their God-sent king.

So all was cursed, and bruised and dark
Before this sad law-breaking king
Yet shone a light, for promised God
Another coming conquering king.

Man's race increased and toiled with sweat
To rule the world his sin had cursed
Some toiled with greater sin. Some found
With God, a grace that loved them first.
To Abraham God sweetly swore
To make of him a nation great
And many nations bless through one
Though he must for the promise wait.

The promised nation came to be
And burgeoned in the desert land
Where from a life of slavery they'd
Been freed by God-sent Moses' hand.

Might Moses be that mighty one
Who'd crush the head of God's vile foe?
And save God's people from the curse
Law-breaking men were doomed to know?
For through him God declared the law
Unto His people. But they spurned,
That law, and Moses disobeyed
God's orders when his anger burned.

Yet God preserved the rebel race
And brought them to his promised land
From enemies delivered them
With merciful and mighty hand.
He gave them priests to come before
His presence in law-breakers stead
With lambs and goats whose bleeding throats
For these law-breaking people bled.

Perhaps a priest in Aaron's line
Would overcome the rebel way
And keep God's law and crush with joy
The serpent in one sinless day.
But neither did this line bring hope -
Old Eli's priestly sons, depraved,
Were laws unto themselves, and broke
God's holy law without dismay.

'A king!' The chosen nation cried
'To fight our battles, save our land!'
But this king also disobeyed;
God took the kingdom from his hand.
Obedience, God then declared,
Better to him than sacrifice
Of lambs, or works of men whose hands
Did what was right in their own eyes.

Oh who could right the cursing wrongs
That blighted all the world with night
And bring God's smile again to men
Whose works did not give God delight?
Why would each one so love his own
Decisions over God's commands
Fools, blind with self-adoring pride
Destroying joy with their own hands.

A baby in a feeding trough
With tiny, empty, helpless hands
Come see this one, a faithful son
Who comes to keep the Lord's commands.
Where Adam rose in rebel pride
To disobey God's law and die
This one will stoop by humble choice
Obey God's law and lamb-like die.
This child's a king whose only crown
Is glorying to do that will
That ordered all the universe
And calls men to submission still.
This man obeys, for this man loves
His God, and God delights in Him
"This is my well-beloved Son
In whom I'm pleased - listen to Him!"
This child is God himself, who came
To do what man had failed to do
In God-created flesh, to keep
God's perfect law his whole life through.

Yet he must make amends for many
Sons of Adam and their sin
Thus take their curse of death and know
God's favor turned away from him.
God's favor turned? Oh surely not
Pure reason could assault God's son
But serpent-reason crushed, he prayed
"Father, not mine - Your will be done!"

"Who's hung upon a tree is cursed"
God's law declared in somber tone
So Jesus, took the deathly tree
To be a curse, for us atone.

Fruit from a tree? How can it be?
That one death should atone for sin?
That dying was obedience
Unto the law that must not end.
That death sent mighty tremors through
The universe of dying things
The law that killed and cursed them was
Accomplished by their God-sent king.
And justice rose, and made alive
This once-dead and law-keeping king
Who promises to come again
And set aright all sin-cursed things.

- Alyssa Colby - Christmas 2009

2 comments:

Rachel said...

What a nice Christmas presentation! You have a lovely blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. Thanks for visiting my blog. I greatly admire Amy Carmichael. Her poetry is very encouraging.

Deb said...

Beautiful and thoughtful, Alyssa! Now, that's MY kind of Christmas gift!!