Promises Kept: My Christmas Eve Candlelight Poem

I shared this tonight at our candlelight service. When the audio is available, I’ll update this post with a link.

See him speak into dark night,
creating with his word all light,
forming heaven and earth below,
that his great glory all would know.
Created sun, stars, and moon display
how our Creator shines more than day.
Then he planted the holy Garden,
And placed in it his image, man.
Man and wife shall fill the earth,
blessed by the One of supreme worth.
Together over the world they reign,
Under the Creator’s Name.
Hear him come in cool of day
to walk with them along the way.
In Eden’s paradise with him,
they know a world without sin.

The One who made all by his will,
Comes down to dwell with us and fill
the earth; with man heaven’s glory stepped
on ground: God’s word must be kept.

See him coming once again,
this time after Adam’s sin.
Now eyes are open, nakedness known.
In shame, fear, and guilt we groan.
The ground imprisoned in thistle and thorn;
Our brows will sweat, in toil we’re born.
Under the curse of sin’s dread sway,
we are reminded we’re made of clay.
The woman in pain shall give birth
To all the sons who walk the earth.
In bondage to decay we live
with no saving worth to give.
Who will save us from our sins?
Who will give us life again?
How before God can we stand
when we have broken his command?

But as the One who loves us ached,
Judgment was put on that snake’s
Head, to be crushed by a son’s wounded step:
God’s promises must be kept.

Death would reign for years to come
as they await the Promised Son.
Noah perhaps would give them rest;
after the flood he was blessed.
But yet he failed with his own sin,
So he could not save his kin.
Abram was by God called out
to leave his home and roam about.
But on the way he stumbled and lied;
he grew impatient, though he tried
by faith to follow his good God,
who by grace walks with men who are flawed.
A promise made to bless the earth
through barren Sarah giving birth;
Abraham would father nations,
through Promised Son as the foundation.

Tho One who swore by his own Name
to give Father Abraham fame
Has not forgotten, nor has he slept:
God’s promises must be kept.

Then generations come and go,
as Isaac, Jacob, and his sons show
their constant need for God’s grace.
Then Moses pled to see God’s face.
The law was given, the thunder rumbled,
The mountain quaked, but the people grumbled.
Even in the Promised Land,
Israel broke God’s command.
Like the other nations had,
They said a king would make them glad.
Great King David had his sin;
not just once, but time and again.
So Solomon would turn away.
Of all the kings, few would obey.
So the prophets of God were sent
to tell the people to repent.

The One who abounds in mercy and grace
abandoned the temple, that holy space.
And for years of silence the people wept:
Would God’s promises be kept?

See him lying in hay and straw,
here to overcome our Fall,
here in flesh that he created,
he for whom the chained earth waited.
Hear him cough, a baby’s cry,
from One who hung stars in the sky.
See him writhe in hunger pains,
As sinless blood runs through his veins.
Feel his skin so soft, so smooth,
this child born here to be bruised.
Tiny fingers on his hand,
born to fulfill a greater plan.
His feet so delicate and small,
formed to be crushed for us all.
See the young mother who will know loss,
when she sees her baby on the cross.

The One who holds the world in place,
who came to join our fallen race,
as helpless infant, the God-man wept:
God’s promises must be kept.

See him stand above the city.
His heart beats with longing pity
for those he had come to save,
soon to send him to the grave.
As a hen gathers her brood,
so he longs to take the rude
rejecting throng under his wing
and of his love for them sing.
Yet in their pride they will not come.
In their own sin they’ll be undone.
Jerusalem slays men sent by God,
forsaking Shepherd, staff, and rod.
As Mercy looks on them in pain,
they turn away from the holy Name.
Now for these ones who seek to kill
He must ascend the fearsome hill.

The One who built Jerusalem cried.
Down a face of flesh tears slide,
Grieving, heaven’s Glory wept:
God’s promises must be kept.

See him pleading in the garden,
his friends asleep, he finds himself in
solitude; the Father silent.
His knees in dirt, his back and head bent
to the earth, this ground of dust.
This seems not fair, appears unjust.
“Father, take this cup from me,”
with loud cries he makes his plea.
Tears offered up to him who saves,
who can protect us from the grave.
“Yet not my will, but yours be done.”
A painful trust in the One
whose face and beauty he had known,
who shared with him a heavenly throne.
This cup of wrath must not pass by;
in love he drank it all bone dry.

The One who for us prayed on that ground,
as sweat as drop of blood ran down
his face; heaven’s Glory wept:
God’s promises must be kept.

See him, nails piercing his hands,
God’s one pure and spotless Lamb,
Who takes away the sins of man—
By his own blood he saves the damned!
See him, nails driven through his feet,
breathing until he can complete
the work for which he was sent;
his body broken, his flesh rent,
blood and water flow from his side
to wash pure his chosen Bride.
He looks upon the soldiers rude,
“Forgive them, they know not what they do.”
In thirst he cries out from the tree,
“My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Then at last he can cry out,
“It is finished!” in triumphant shout.

The One who crushed the serpent’s head,
Has come; for us he was bruised and bled.
Victorious, on the cross he wept:
God’s promises have been kept.

See how stone is rolled away
from the tomb on the third day.
See the empty grave they found;
Feel the hope and joy abound.
See his body raised in glory,
Inviting men into his story.
Hear him promise to come and reign,
When he destroys all sin and pain.
He will return as Conquering King,
So now we wait, and serve, and sing.
This world from sin will be released;
Delivered from the curse, we’ll feast
in the presence of the Lord,
our Bridegroom, holy and adored.
So as the Bride, with the Spirit we say,
“Come, and give your life this day
to him who gave his life for you.”
What more to prove love could he do?

This One called Jesus, the Promised Son,
has through life and death our victory won
so that in fear we need not weep:
Every promise he will keep.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *