Contend Earnestly

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation,
I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

Jude 3

The Old Story.

Come and hear the grand old story,
Story of the ages past;
All earth’s annals far surpassing,
Story that shall ever last.
Noblest, truest,
Oldest, newest,
Fairest, rarest,
Saddest, gladdest,
That this earth has ever known.

Christ, the Father’s Son eternal,
Once was born, a Son of man;
He, who never knew beginning,
Here on earth a life began.

Here in David’s lowly city,
Tenant of the manger-bed,
Child of everlasting ages,
Mary’s infant, lays his head.

There he lies, in mighty weakness,
David’s Lord and David’s Son;
Creature and Creator meeting,
Heaven and earth conjoined in one.

Here at Nazareth he dwelleth,
’Mid the sin of sinful men;
Sorrowful, forlorn, and hated,
And yet hating none again.

Here in Galilee he wanders,
Through its teeming cities moves,
Climbs its mountains, walks its waters,
Blesses, comforts, saves, and loves.

Words of truth and deeds of kindness,
Miracles of grace and might,
Scatter fragrance all around him,
Shine with heaven’s most glorious light.

In Gethsemane behold him
In the agony of prayer;
Kneeling, pleading, groaning, bleeding,
Soul and body prostrate there.

All alone lie wrestles yonder,
Close beside him stands the cup,
Bitterest cup that man e’er tasted;
Yet for us he drinks it up.

In the Roman hall behold him
Stand at Pilate’s judgment-seat,
Mocked and beaten, crowned and wounded;
Jew and Gentile join in hate.

On to Golgotha he hastens;
Yonder stands his cross of woe;
From his hands, and feet, and forehead,
See the precious life-blood flow.

Sinless, he our sin is bearing,
All our sorrows on him lie,
And his stripes our wounds are healing,
God, for man, consents to die.

It is finished! See his body
Laid alone in Joseph’s tomb;
’Tis for us he lieth yonder,
Prince of Light enwrapt in gloom.

But in vain the grave has bound him,
Death has barred its gate in vain;
See, for us the Saviour rises,
See, for us he bursts the chain.

Hear we then the grand old story,
True as God’s all-faithful word,
Best of tidings to the guilty,
Of a dead and risen Lord.

’Tis eternal life to know it,
Light and love are shining there,
While we look, and gaze, and listen,
All its joy and peace we share.

Hear we then the grand old story,
And in listening learn the love,
Flowing through it to the guilty,
From our pardoning God above.

Glory be to God the Father,
Glory be to God the Son,
Glory be to God the Spirit,
Great Jehovah, Three in One.

Horatius Bonar

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