“Mary Magdalene” – a movie worth seeing

Just back from seeing the movie Mary Magdalene. For me, somewhere between 3.5 and 4 Stars (out of 5). I disagree with those reviews that have poured cold water on the movie. For me, overall, it was  faithful to the biblical narrative (and where it wasn’t that wasn’t of great importance … no deal-breaker); it certainly made prominent Mary’s evolving sense of “call” to discipleship and that of “witness”, elevated the inbreaking kingdom of God to being a key thrust of Jesus and his ministry and made clear Mary’s spiritual, somewhat mystic devotion to the cause of Christ.

Very much a movie through Mary’s eyes and heart.  Garth Davis (think Lion) did well with his crew of “getting inside” who Mary may well have been, for down the centuries she has been portrayed in one of two extremes (albeit with some overlap) – devoted “apostle to the apostles” or a reformed prostitute.  Nothing in the movie to suggest either!

A highlight for me – without giving too much away – were a variety of “baptismal” segments and allusions.

Yes, Mary Magdalene plodded at times, especially early on, but maybe we’re too used to those triumphant gallop-along biblical dramas of the past or those highly sanitised films. There was commendable character devopment portrayed in Mary, Jesus, Peter and Judas. Dale and invited Church folk from Wellers Hill-Tarragindi UC to join us. Pleased a group did. Nice to debrief over lunch afterwards. Should do this sort of thing again. “Paul”?

Mary Magdalene? Go see it.

Easter blessings,



Love you (song for The Cross)

having recently reflected that my songwriting over the decades has been “light on” with Good Friday /crucifixion/The Cross songs … I’ve just written a simple children’s song (though with possibly wider uses).  It’s called Love you.  Our local church kids club focusses on the crucifixion these next two Thursdays.  I’m sure that’s connected with the Spirit-initiative behind it all :-).  Backing track demo has been done somewhat hastily via Garage Band … excuse the roughness around the edges, folks.   Seems that’s surely OK for any song on this theme.  I’ve kept the basic song deliberately simple. See what you think.

Blessings of this Lenten, Cross-reaching season.

vocal (in Em)
mp3 backing(with melody)

Jesus died on a cross for you
Jesus died on a cross for me
Jesus died on a cross for everyone
… because he loves us

Jesus died on a cross for you
Jesus died on a cross for me
Jesus died on a cross for everyone
… and there forgive us

Jesus died on a cross for you
Jesus died on a cross for me
Jesus died on a cross for everyone
… and we will love you
We will love you
We will love you

David MacGregor
© 2018 Willow Publishing

When I survey the wondrous cross (What love for us)

Well, it’s my birthday!
Not every birthday one finalises a song about death and crucifixion.
Anyhow, that’s what I’ve done – a new setting for Isaac Watts’ Good Friday classic: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.
It’s in a minor key and with a bridge added. I woke up from an afternoon nap with much of the song in my head, having gone to sleep with it in my head. It stayed there.  Hopefully a good sign!!

I’ve long pondered how comparatively speaking I’ve written few Easter songs … even less for Good Friday. Maybe it’s because there’s so much great material “out there” – both traditional and contemporary. Why write something new?!

Rather than lyrically getting hung up on atonement theories and the like, I wrote a bridge which more than anything shares my faith that on the cross, Jesus – in the ultimate act of love, sheer love, takes on our brokenness and frailty.

Not that I don’t like the traditional setting – it’s my favourite Good Friday hymn.  Hopefully this new setting does Watts’ timeless lyrics justice.  Feel free to use, with appropriate CCLI attribution.
Blessings, David

mp3 vocal (in Gm) 
mp3 backing (flute melody)

1. When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Jesus, what love for us
Jesus, in dying for us
Jesus, forgiving us
On the cross, your pain
Love in our brokenness
Love in our hopelessness
Love in pure awesomeness
That we’d know life again

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

traditional words: Isaac Watts
music & bridge: David MacGregor  © 2018 Willow Publishing

God’s “Yes!”

Here’s an edited version of my Christmas Day sermon, shared this morning at Wellers Hill-Tarragindi Uniting Church, Brisbane, Australia

Christmas blessings, David

Continue reading ‘God’s “Yes!”’


Hi. Thought I’d share my three-minute reflection from tonight’s annual Community Christmas Carols – a mission initiative of Wellers Hill-Tarragindi Uniting Church. The theme: #thischangeseverything Blessings, David     PS. The evening went really well 🙂



Is there a time for you when everything changed?
Maybe it was Maths, for example … Who likes Maths? For some, Maths seems difficult, abstract and not much point. But then … for those same people entering the world of robotics and coding – which uses and teaches all that Maths – everything changes – and they love it.

And then … we all know those times in life. Something happens and it’s never quite the same again.  Whether it’s cricketer Phillip Hughes – felled by a bouncer; the terrorism attacks of 9/11. It seems to change everything.

We all know the impact the passing of a loved one has on us. Their passing – changes everything. Our world gets turned upside down.

Some 2000+ years ago, in a remote part of the Middle East, a baby is born. No Lady Cilento Hospital for this baby. No baby showers. No antenatal classes. Continue reading ‘#thischangeseverything’

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