HE WANTS NOT FRIENDS THAT HATH THY LOVE
He wants not friends that hath thy love,
And may converse and walk with thee
And with thy saints, here and above,
With whom forever I must be.
Within the fellowship of saints
Is wisdom, safety and delight;
And when my heart declines and faints,
It’s raisèd by their heat and light.
As for my friends, they are not lost:
The several vessels of thy fleet
Though parted now, by tempests tossed,
Shall safely in the haven meet.
We still are centred all in thee,
Though distant, members of one Head;
Within one family we be,
And by one faith and spirit led.
Before thy throne we daily meet
As joint-petitioners to thee;
In spirit each the other greet,
And shall again each other see.
The heavenly hosts, world without end,
Shall be my company above;
And thou, my best and surest Friend,
Who shall divide me from thy love?
-Richard Baxter 1615-1691
CHRISTIANS AND OTHERS
1. All go to God in their distress,
seek help and pray for bread and happiness,
deliverance from pain, guilt and death.
All do, Christians and others.
2. All go to God in His distress,
find him poor, reviled without shelter or bread,
watch him tormented by sin, weakness, and death.
Christians stand by God in His agony.
3. God goes to all in their distress,
satisfies body and soul with His bread,
dies, crucified for all, Christians and others
and both alike forgiving.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1906-1945
There are nights that are so still
that I can hear the small owl calling
far off and a fox barking
miles away. It is then that I lie
in the lean hours awake listening
to the swell born somewhere in the Atlantic
rising and falling, rising and falling
wave on wave on the long shore
by the village, that is without light
and companionless. And the thought comes
of that other being who is awake, too,
letting our prayers break on him,
not like this for a few hours,
but for days, years, for eternity.
-R. S. Thomas
O Lord, guide me in the way of Thy righteousness;
because of mine enemies,
make straight my way before Thee,
for in their mouth there is no truth;
their heart is vain.
Their throat is an open sepulchre,
with their tongues have they spoken deceitfully;
judge them, O God.
Let them fall down on account of their own devisings;
according to the multitude of their ungodliness,
cast them out, for they have embittered Thee, O Lord.
And let all them be glad that hope in Thee;
they shall ever rejoice, and Thou shalt dwell among them.
And all shall glory in Thee that love Thy name,
for Thou shalt bless the righteous.
O Lord, as with a shield of Thy good pleasure
has Thou crowned us.
-from Psalm 5