“Unprecedented”

By Monday, December 21, 2020 0 No tags Permalink 6

An Advent Poem for 2020
John 1:14–18
Steve Bateman

“Unprecedented” is the word
That dominates our talk
A thing that’s not before occurred
A word which now we mock.

A year we all would like to see
Slip tamely to the past
Along with all its bitter fruit
We hope will not long last.

Our 2020 Vision was
Significantly blurred.
This year has undermined our hope
And left our plans detoured.

Our nation seethes with zealous hate
Yet we are called to love.
To pray for our lost, fractured land
And serve it with resolve.

When this pandemic was announced
We could not know it then,
That this unprecedented plague
Would face us with our sin.

It has been an unwanted test
Revealing precious idols,
Compelling us to trust in God
And not his empty rivals.

We love our sports, our wealth, our gain
We love our “likes” and fame
But do we love with all our hearts
The One who joined our pain?

And do we love the church he came
To purchase with his blood?
Will all the world see in this test
Unprecedented love?

Or will they see division wrought
By matters tertiary?
Demands for rights and comfort in
Convenient sanctuary?

We worship one who held a place
Of privilege and rights
Yet laid them down in costly grace
To bring to darkness, light.

In the beginning, he was there
God of God, Light of Light
This very God of very God
In flesh-masked restrained might.

A baby born in Bethlehem
Would be the cure we need
To heal our sin-sick selfish souls
And from our proud chains freed.

This humble voluntary act
Of donning human skin,
Unprecedented selflessness
Would save us from our sin.

He told the truth, it caused us pain
Condemned we stood, well-tried.
He offered grace, it was our gain
When for our crimes he died.

And now he calls us to take up
The rigors of the cross,
To follow his example of
This voluntary loss.

For in the end there’s more to gain
By laying down our rights,
To serve the interests of his fame
And sidestep lesser fights.

It was for joy which he foresaw
That he endured the shame.
He knew it would be worth it all
And magnify the Name.

This COVID Christmas closes an
Unprecedented year,
And teaches us a constant truth:
We need not live in fear.

We’re distanced, masked, and weary, sure
And still there’s more to come.
But like all plagues this will not last
And when this trial is done,

Let us look back with grateful hearts
For we withstood the test,
By following the Son of God
Who took on human flesh.

So child of God, rest in this hope
The sin you once lamented
Was removed by him who came through
Birth “Unprecedented.”

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