Composed as a counterweight to John Lennon’s atheist song which recently ran through my head for a few days
Journeying in your time ship
Back through time your voyager slips.
At the helm you stand,
Your route mapped out, your journey planned.
Making your way through centuries past,
In ancient Israel you land at last.
Stopping, you draw in your sail;
Success crowns your navigation of time’s sands.
You touch down on Galilee ground;
The ship comes to rest, right era found.
Through your window the Kinneret you sight.
Joy fills your heart; you’re about to alight.
Rejoicing in the working of the divine hand,
Your ship’s rolled back two millennia
Making you on time, on course, to meet Messiah.
When your craft comes to rest,
You exit full of purpose and zest.
The rocky hillsides you stroll and climb,
Rejoicing to arrive; it’s the right time.
Long the search has filled your heart,
And now you’ve returned to the very start.
In seeking out Him for whom you yearn,
You have left no stone unturned.
From vantage points the terrain you scour:
Where is He who’s drawn you to this hour?
You simply must go:
The light draws; you follow.
Across a drama in waiting you stumble.
Will He resemble a god or someone more humble?
You see them bearing the lame and sick
From Galilee hills and villages and towns.
Now in numbers they’re running thick
As they take their places on the ground.
They’re waiting for Him, you know;
An expectant air fills the crowd.
Will He hear your heart pumpump aloud?
Multitudes pack the lake hillside;
Ancient Israel reverberates with hope
As poor Galileans spread out high and wide.
Hopeful hearts fill the slopes.
They await the Nazarene miracle worker:
He’s the talk of miles around of late.
They also say that in word
The likes of Him has never been heard.
You’ve found the spot where He is seen;
Time journeys sometimes succeed beyond all dreams.
An audible cricket chirps in the bush;
Enthusiasm charges the sense of keen anticipation.
The Master suddenly steps into the hush:
Messiah is appearing in Person to that generation.
The Lord of heaven has good news to unfurl,
Introducing kingdom secrets in novel truth pearls.
They’ve redounded down the centuries,
And now you’re in the crowd as one who sees.
He seems little more than a youth,
Yet His character and bearing cry out,
‘I am the Truth.’
Rapt attention permeates the listening.
You’re alive in the Messianic age;
It’s just begun. Directly you hear
From the lips of Israel’s great Sage
Before the setting of the sun.
The day wanes and night draws near;
Impending darkness brings an attack of fear.
How will thousands eat before the dying of the day?
It’d be an impossible feat;
You implore the Master to send them away.
He looks straight at you and says,
‘You give them something to eat!’
The five loaves and two fish you scorn:
What a paltry, inadequate dish!
Yet from small beginnings
A great sufficiency is born.
The little meal to Him you bring.
Soon your heart thrills and sings:
Thousands are fed in a miraculous buffet:
He is the Lord and He’s won the day!
Your time ship merges with shades of gray.
Atop the Mount of transfiguration,
You stand and gaze in awesome admiration.
You’ve mounted the dizzying heights of man’s salvation.
Amazed at the sight, you’re one of a fortunate four:
The holy hill reveals the transcendent glory
Of the Lord. Him you see in dazzling white,
Face shining as of all the brilliance of the sun;
Moses and Elijah enter the sacred site.
You feel uniquely as a chosen one.
They’re strengthening the Master’s hands,
The reason why you later understand.
What privilege is given to you,
Coming from the lost latter age
To be one of the chosen few
To join Messiah on top of the stage!
It erringly seems, standing up there
On the Mount of transfiguration,
That you’ll not have to accompany the Lord
Into the valley of tribulation.
Imagine the excitement thrilling the throng:
They walk alongside Messiah as He walks along,
These simple, first century folk,
To whom Messiah personally spoke.
He arrives in Person in your town of long ago,
And He does all secrets know.
Seeing you on the way He stops to say:
‘Friend I want to speak to you today,
And I need this night a place to stay.’
Wouldn’t you glow warm inside?
The King of glory has come to confide:
In you. Beware the pride of being one of the few.
You’re at the funeral of the widow’s son of Nain:
You come to express sympathy with her in pain.
You see the Master there;
Perhaps He can help her in her despair.
Astonishingly, the young man rises to life again.
One day whilst accompanying the Lord,
A synagogue ruler utters a sad word.
‘My little daughter is almost dead,
But Master come, lay hands on her,
That Talitha may rise from her bed.’
When you arrive, mourners ring the house in force;
But this of course is Messiah’s moment:
You’re present at another astounding event.
The little girl to new life rises;
Surprise seizes mourners and mockers in a similar way;
The sight staggers all eyes, these strange things of today.
The father weeps in joy and relief;
A silence spreads amongst the unbelief.
Leprosy, the dread disease,
Thrusts people outside the city gate.
You see such a one falling pleading on his knees;
You’ve heard of ten more healed of late.
‘I am willing. Be healed,’ you hear Him say.
You observe a cleansed and new man
Going his way.
Hard to imagine, God has visited Earth:
He perceives poor people of dust as having worth.
That value carries no small significance,
His concern for man’s eternal condition
Warrants heaven’s considerable glance:
It forms the focus of God’s manward vision.
Your eyes participate in these events.
Won’t they praise Messiah’s advent?
God has come in the flesh, Eternal of days.
A demoniac lives by the Garasa graves,
South-east of the fresh water sea.
Hope one day steps into the somber caves,
The Hope of setting the captives free.
Consider Messiah’s compassion
As out He sets across the Lake.
He has a special mercy mission,
A soul’s tormenting shackles to break.
For just this one abandoned by all
He feels a special clemency call.
You see the bound set free,
Freed from the manacles of his soul;
Because by Messiah he’s finally found,
He walks away, a man made whole.
The neighbors fear the lunatic in their midst:
Christ says, ‘Man, you have the right to exist!’
Released from all that binds,
Restoration’s joy enters his mind.
Even if a man is possessed by a legion,
They cannot resist Messiah’s time of visitation.
You witness personally these scenes
Which myriads have desired to see:
Evil spirits in a tormented man have been.
Entering a herd of pigs, they charge headlong
Into the drowning sea.
The pigs are dead; the man is free.
Whisked into ancient Judea,
Something remarkable is happening here.
Mary’s brother is sick unto death.
Messiah’s wisdom awaits his last breath;
Lazarus dies that the Son of God may be glorified.
Arriving at the scene you see everyone grieve,
But the Master purposes that all may believe.
The voice of the Lion of Judah cries:
‘I am the resurrection and the life!
Witness you skies.
He who believes in Me will live
And never die.’
The Lord weeps in sympathy
Identifying openly with the pain of humanity.
Approaching the grave He cries:
‘Roll away the stone,’
And out comes he who died.
Raising of the dead is the ultimate miracle,
But the never-believers won’t believe still.
It’s as if to say, ‘what can I do more
To open in the face of unbelief heaven’s door?’
Yet those who will, now believe:
Glad hearts accept the authentic and true.
Still others the devil deceives,
Though Messiah comes to the Jews as a Jew.
Eyes that see witness His glory.
Firsthand your ears hear of the Kingdom of God;
Intimate secrets are bared, brought near,
Redemption’s revelation presented to a world ruled by fear.
The Master designs a special exhortation;
Sermons on the Mount and Plain
Pour rivers of life into the meaning of salvation.
But you wonder how to live out His radical refrain.
Extending a welcoming hand that you touch,
He is flesh and bone and loves you so much.
He will not leave you without the power:
To live a righteous life is the call of the hour.
And you know His help is at hand,
Because nobody ever spoke words like this man.
His words your consciousness deeply impress,
His miracles the multitudes touch.
You conclude He’s come the world to bless;
You’d be a fool not to think at least that much.
Unique words and wonders His ministry comprise;
His divine/human presence makes Him the Messiah,
You surmise. The Son of God has taken on human essence.
‘Will you lay down your life and follow Me?’
He looks into your eyes and says.
You find it hard to resist that heavenly gaze,
As into you He looks and sees.
But the King suddenly says He must go away
And as His close friend you grieve today.
You’ve observed His majesty:
He has honored you as you all things see.
The Comforter He promises to send,
He will be with you, age without end.
His appearing is not just for that first generation,
But is known in the living and eternal Word;
Faith’s revelation causes it to be forever heard.
It makes Messiah live in the mind’s eye
Of this poor creature man, born to die.