Shepherd’s tale

Here is a poem from my friend Dr. John Lawrenz. It both choked me up and inspired my heart. I share it with you with wishes for a Merry Christmas from all of us here at Time of Grace.
—Pastor Mark Jeske


One shoeless shepherd knelt before an awesome sight.
With eyes transfixed, he gazed upon a heav’nly light
That burned before him, yet had not consumed its source.
It was the fiery presence of an ageless force
Not come to hurt or harm, but rather to release
Those snared in bondage—those seeking lasting peace.

“Go!” said the Voice, “Go tell My people—See and trust
What I will do to raise them from their servile dust.
I am the One who gladdened two beyond the age of parenthood
And sent a son. I am the One who did, and could,
And from this single pair raised up a host that equal stars
And seashore sand, despite their wounds and scars.

“Don’t say, ‘They won’t believe Me—Can’t recall My Name!’
Don’t doubt your mouth! Don’t ask from whence I came!
Go! My mighty arm will guard your firstborn in their sleep,
My daytime cloud and leading fire will safely keep
Them whole through sea and waste till you attain this place.
Here I will speak my Word and show them all My grace.”

A band of sandaled shepherds, watching flocks by night,
Raised hands in praise, responding to the glorious light
That blazed ’round myriad angels. “To you is born this day
In David’s town the Son who is your life, your truth, your way!
Go! Spread abroad the news that sin no longer binds
Through fear of death our souls, our hearts, our minds!”

                                                          —John Lawrenz, 2017

Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.

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