Apologia

By Sunday, December 25, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 9

Each year at Christmas, I write an Advent Poem for my church family based on the sermon series we are in at the time. Its not an original idea and a lot of pastors do it, but it has become a tradition a few look forward to. This year, we are halfway through Ephesians as we celebrate Christmas. The first three chapters are a challenging ascent of the doctrines of predestination, unconditional election, redemption, regeneration, and salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. The “Amen” of Ephesians 3:21 is the peak of Mt. Ephesians. From this lofty perspective, Christmas makes much more sense.

I know my sermons sometimes bring
A gloomy consternation
To those who long for brighter themes
Of Christmas celebration.

It’s not that I object to joy,
I love this time of year!
What I oppose is Satan’s ploy
To calm a needful fear.

The wrath of God is not a truth
That we can set aside,
And when we do we compliment
Our boastful human pride.

We do not pacify this God,
Against whom we have sinned,
By giving gifts and being nice,
As if now we could mend,

The broken fellowship of love
Our maker has designed,
By keeping rules and rituals
Or simply being kind.

What we need most we cannot earn
By trying to be good.
For we could never do enough
Or live the life we should.

But there is one who makes the grade
And qualifies to die
The death that all of us deserve,
And here’s the reason why:

He is a man who feels our pain.
His body breathes and bleeds.
He suffered, wept, and walked with us,
And tended to our needs.

Yet he is God who made us all
And owns the universe,
He never broke the holy law,
Which brought on us the curse

In love, God gave the greatest gift
To buy us from our sin.
In love, he gave his only Son
So we could enter in

To join this holy family,
The church for which he died
Adopted now, and heirs with Christ,
The God we crucified.

A Christ-less Christmas is absurd,
Rejects the very reason
We gather with the ones we love
In this disruptive season.

A cross-less Christmas may be worse
For it ignores what’s true.
This baby came to do for us
What we could never do.

The Grinch and Scrooge both dodged the point.
George Bailey missed the bus.
It’s not what we have done for God,
But what he’s done for us.

So Linus cut straight through the haze
In getting Christmas right,
When he called on our good friend Luke
To magnify the Light.

Now please be patient with my call
To spurn the Christmas rush.
Employ Ephesians to displace
This sentimental mush!

God loves us long before we’re good
He let us hear his call!
For if he loved because we’re good.
He’d never love at all.

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