Poems and Bible Verses
Page 25

Nicodemas gets born
Love can be a *real pain*
The power of prayer
The cradle & the feed trough

A study in black
As the twig is bent
If the shoe fits...
We pray for the cold and hungry

Nic the Pharisee gets born

And Nicodemus came by night
When none might hear or see --
He came by night to shun men's sight
And away by night slunk he.

He dared not come by light of day
To move where sinners trod:
He must hold apart from the common heart,
For he was a *man of God* . . .

But the honest Christ, He walked with men
Nor held His ways apart --
With publicans talked, with harlots walked,
And loved them all in His heart


Came Nicodemus to Christ by night;
And long they reasoned, alone,
Till that old man saw the sham of the law
That had turned his heart to stone;

He tore the formal husks from his life;
He was born again, though gray.
And, erect with the youth of a living truth
He dared the world by day!
"Nicodemus" by Harry Kemp

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus,
A ruler of the Jews.
This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him,
"Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God;
"For no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again,
He cannot see the kingdom of God."

[After the crucifixion, the loving hands of Brother Nic anointed his Savior's body for burial...]
And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came,
Bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes,
About a hundred pounds.
John 3.1-3 &19.39 [see also John 7.50-51]

Love can be a *real pain*

They say the world is round, and yet
I often think it square
So many little hurts we get
From corners here and there.
But one great truth in life I've found,
While going East to the West --
The only folks who really wound
Are those we love the best.

The man you thoroughly despise
Can rouse your wrath, 'tis true;
Annoyance in your heart will rise
At things mere strangers do;
But those are only passing ills;
This rule all lives will prove;
The rankling wound which aches and thrills
Is dealt by hands we love.


The choicest garb, the sweetest grace,
Are oft to strangers shown;
The careless glance, the frowning face,
Are given to our own.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.

Love does not grow on every tree,
Nor true hearts yearly bloom.
Alas for those who only see
This cut across a tomb!
But, soon or late, the fact grows plain
To all through sorrow's test:
The only folks who give us pain
Are those we love the best.
"Life's Scars" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

[God said...]
When Israel was a child, I loved him,
And out of Egypt I called my son.
But the more I called Israel,
The further they went from Me.

It was I who taught Ephraim* to walk, taking them by the arms;
But they did not realize it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.
I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
Yet My people are determined to turn from Me.

How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
I will not carry out my fierce anger,
Nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim.

For I am God, and not man-- the Holy One among you.
I will not come in wrath.
Hosea 11.1,2a,3-4,7a,8a,9
*In this passage, God uses "Ephraim" as another name for Israel

The power of prayer

More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.

For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?

For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
"Prayer" by Alfred Tennyson


The sorrows of death compassed me,
And the pains of hell got hold upon me.
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then called I upon the name of the LORD --
O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous.
Yea, our God is merciful.
The LORD preserveth the simple.
I was brought low, and He helped me.

Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
For the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For He hast delivered my soul from death,
Mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
I will walk before the LORD
In the land of the living.
Psalm 116.3-9

The cradle and the feed trough

Hush! my dear, lie still and slumber,
Holy angels guard thy bed!
Heavenly blessings without number
Gently falling on thy head.

How much better thou'rt attended
Than the Son of God could be,
When from Heaven He descended,
And became a child like thee.

Soft and easy is thy cradle:
Coarse and hard thy Savior lay:
When His birthplace was a stable,
And His bed was naught but hay.

May you live to know and fear Him,
Trust and love Him all thy days;
Then go dwell forever near Him,
See His face, and sing His praise!
extracts from "A Cradle Hymn" by Isaac Watts


Let this mind be in you,
Which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
Did not consider equality with God
Something to be clung to,
But made Himself of no reputation.

Taking the very nature of a servant,
He was made in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2.5-7

A study in black

O LORD, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, "Violence!"
And You will not save.
I will say to God my Rock,
"Why have You forgotten me?
"Why do I go mourning
"Because of the oppression of the enemy?"

As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God!
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
Hab 1.2; Psalm 42.9-11


In "pastures green"? Not always. Sometimes He
Who knoweth best, in kindness leadeth me
In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.

And by "still waters"? No, not always so.
Ofttimes the heavy tempests round me blow,
And o'er my soul the waves and billows go.

But when the storm beats loudest and I cry
Aloud for help, the Master standeth by,
And whispers to my soul, "Lo, it is I."

So, where He leads me, I can safely go,
And in the blest hereafter I shall know,
Why, in His wisdom, He hath led me so.

As the twig is bent, so shall the tree incline

A careful man I ought to be;
A little fellow follows me;
I do not dare to go astray
For fear he'll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes:
Whate'er he sees me do he tries --
Like me he says he's going to be;
The little boy who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine;
The base in me he must not see,
The little chap who follows me.

I must remember as I go,
Through summer's sun and winter's snow,
I'm building for the years to be,
The little lad who follows me.


[God said...]
Fix these words of mine in your heart and mind. Tie them as symbols on your hands.
Bind them on your forehead.
Teach them to your children,
Talk about them when you sit at home,
When you walk along the road,
When you lie down
And when you get up.
Deu 11.18-19

[Jesus said...]
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Mt 18.6

If the shoe fits...

Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
Luke 22.48

Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together.
Peter was following Him a great way off...
Mt 26.57-58a


How dare we look askance at these two men,
Toy with unspoken thoughts, "Were I there then --"
Venture to pity, blame, or mildly scoff?
We who have struck, not once with any sword,
Who have so many times betrayed our Lord,
Nor followed even at a great way off.
"Simon & Judas" by Kenneth W.Porter

Warm inside our cozy church,
We pray for the cold and hungry

We dedicate a church today.
Lord Christ, I pray
Within the sound of its great bell
There is no mother who must hold
Her baby close against the cold --
So only have we served Thee well.

The wind blows sharp, the snow lies deep.
If we shall keep Thy hungry ones, and sore distressed,
From pain and hardship, then may we
Know we have builded unto Thee,
And that each spire and arch is blest.

Lord Christ, grant we may consecrate
To Thee this church we dedicate.
"Dedication" by Ethel Arnold Tilden


He who has pity on the poor,
Lends to the LORD.
God will pay back what he has given.
Prov 19.17

Then the righteous will ask Christ,
"Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in? Or needing clothes and clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison,
And go to visit you?"

King Jesus will reply, "Amen, amen.
Whatever you did for one of the least of these,
You did for me."
based on Mt 25.37-40


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