Archive for March, 2009

Write a new song

jeremiah-31_33bI don’t often preach from the Old Testament, but I feel led that way this Sunday.  Jeremiah 31 has always been inspiration to me.  It reminds me that God is God of relationship, and the covenant relationship God forms with God’s people is something so close that God says via Jeremiah:

I will write my laws on their hearts and minds.  I will be their God, and they will be my peopleJeremiah 31:33

I find myself amid this amazing creative burst of the Spirit – I can put it down to nothing else.  So, here is the embryo of words for a quite-reflective song for this coming Sunday – the final lyric and melody not quite there, but close I think.  Stay tuned.  My thought is to have a very low-key time this Sunday across all of our services for people to recommit, re-engage, rededicate themselve to God – to claim the new song God has written in Jesus – and claim it for their hearts and minds.  Interesting!  Here’s the initial lyric. Think – acoustic guitar & gentle piano. PIANO SCORE download

Write a new song

Write a new song
Write a new song
Write it deep in my heart
You are God, O
we’re your people
Write it deep in my heart
Write it deep in my heart

Etch it deeply
Etch it deeply
Etch it deep in my mind
You are God, O
we’re your people
Etch it deep in my mind
Etch it deep in my mind

Come forgive us
Come forgive us
Heal us whole, deep within
You are God, O
we’re your people
Heal us whole, deep within
Heal us whole, deep within

Write your new song
Etch it deeply
Come forgive us within
You are God, O
we’re your people
Come anew in my heart
Come anew in my heart

David MacGregor
© 2009  Willow Publishing   piano score

Jesus, Jesus is risen … an Easter song

For as long as I’ve been writing songs – over 35 years now (phew!), songwriting has tended to often happen without clear rhyme or reason; well – apart from the reason of God’s Spirit.  Sure, I believe I have the gift of writing something for a particular theme or occasion or when there’s nothing much around on a certain theme … one of the reasons for my kids songs over the years.  When I write, it tends to happen with several songs written within weeks of each other, and then nothing for months on end.  Having written and share a Palm Sunday song just days ago: Sing hosanna, I found myself inspired to write a new, upbeat Easter song – best with a full band. It’s called Jesus, Jesus is risen.

I’ve never felt that I’ve ever written a more-adult Easter song – ever.  My He’s alive, yes he is! kids song of about 6 years back has been widely and well received.  This one is hopefully engaging for kids in the chorus, yet I pray has some meat for a wider grouping in the verses.  Others can judge on this one.  Here are the words, with links under it for leadsheet (piano score to follow later on the RCL site) and Powerpoint file.

Jesus, Jesus is risen
Jesus – up from the grave
Jesus, Jesus is risen
Death has been conquered
and Jesus reigns

Death could not contain you
The Cross can’t hold you down
Over all, you’ve triumphed
Walls come crumbling down
You rise again as victor
Your promise matched in deed
We add our hallelujahs
You are risen, yes indeed!

Hope, love, life – new meaning
resurrection’s power
As we lay our old self down
We rise new people now
You are God forever
You are Christ the Lord
We sing our hallelujahs
O risen, living Lord


David MacGregor   © 2009 Willow Publishing
music powerpoint

Sing Hosanna … new song for Holy Week

palms_cross1New Palm/Passion Sunday song to offer you.  It’s called Sing hosanna. I’m really happy with it. As it turns out, portions of the chorus have strong echoes of  the melody from “Geistliche Kirchengesang” – popularized in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ setting of All Creatures of Our God and King. Fairly upbeat, the refrain has the possibility of the first half as an echo thing – men singing a phrase then echoed by the women, before the whole community singing together as one.   As with all of my songs, they are copyright linked to my publisher: Willow Publishing; so please include mention of Willow in your CCLI recording and acknowledgements.

I’m keen to know how the song goes.  Hopefully by late next week, Dale and I will have put together backing and vocal tracks available through my Together to Celebrate site.

MEN: Sing hosanna WOMEN: Sing hosanna
MEN: Sing hosanna WOMEN: Sing hosanna
ALL: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Jesus come in peace, to save

Not by might
You come to save
Come to set us free
But by grace
and life and peace
Jesus, Saviour, Lord
blessed be

Sing hosanna …

Shout to all … Jerusalem
Your king comes to you now
Prince of peace, from David’s Son
Lay your branches
Before him, bow

MEN: Sing hosanna WOMEN: Sing hosanna
MEN: Sing hosanna WOMEN: Sing hosanna
ALL: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Jesus come in peace, to save
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Jesus come in peace, to save

David MacGregor
© 2009 Willow Publishing     download full piano score & chords

IN but not OF the marketplace

Some reading this will know that Indooroopilly Uniting Church (Brisbane, Australia) where I’m on team – it’s across the road from one of Queensland’s biggest shopping centres – a real community hub.  With yesterday’s gospel text – John 2:13-22 and last night’s AGM both in mind … this is my brief musing on things, particularly the context and vantage point from which we join in God’s mission …

21cuaresmab32A Church in (but not of) the marketplace

Have you ever “lost it” with someone.  You’ve blown your stack, you’ve got really irate.  You’ve really let it all out.  Lost it!  You’ve probably regretted the manner in which you lost it – perhaps some words poorly chosen … some people, even if never-intended that way … who copped the spray far more than they deserved.  But by the same token, as you cooled down, chilled out … caught some fresh air – you’re glad that you lost it.  Why?  Because there were some fundamental principles underlying your outburst.  The mode of delivery may have called for the rewind button – take 2 – but what was behind it – well you have no regrets.

When Jesus overturns the tables, the stalls there at the temple – well, he plain loses it.  And loses it big-time. Get those doves out of here, says Jesus.  Don’t make my Fathers house a marketplace.  The Jewish leaders had lost sight of why the temple was there in the first place – a place where God was worshipped — for the Jews, in fact where God dwelled in a special way.

In and of itself there was nothing wrong, in terms of the Jewish faith, of people visiting the temple at the time of Jesus making sacrifices. It’s when temple and marketplace get confused, intertwined, mixed up together that things go belly-up as far as Jesus is concerned. Principles and expediency often get mixed up.  Don’t make my Fathers house a marketplace, demands Jesus.

Continue reading ‘IN but not OF the marketplace’

Then you found me

brokenman1Thought I’d share the lyrics of a new song written for our quarterly Lero Stadio creative arts worship service at our church – we gathered for this earlier tonight.  The theme was SAVED LIFE LOST LIFE SAVED.  It was a particular take, c/- Tony: an incredibly gifted member of our evening congregation, on the Mark 8:31-38 lectionary gospel for today.   The focus was especially on Jesus’ words:  If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me and for the good news, you will save it.

Felt inspired to write something a bit different.  Not strictly speaking, a congregational worship song.  More in the roots/country/pop/bit-bluesy feel of Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson on their “Rattlin Bones” album, in a minor key to boot.  I took my inspiration from the Biblical metaphor/teaching of the shepherd and the sheep; the shepherd going all out to “seek and save the lost”.  Alongside this, I reflect on how it’s often in the desert experience, that we find God.  More accurately, God, in all God’s prevenient grace finds us.  Dale and I presented it tonight, even doing some rare harmony vocals (I’ve never been great in that area).  Quite taken by the number of affirming responses. Here it is …

Lost – then you found me
Lost – now I’m found
(was) deaf to your calling
deaf, nowhere bound
You searched  and sought unceasing
Astray, you brought me home
Lost – O God you found me
You claim me as your own.

Desert life so daunting
Wilderness surrounds
Desert life, it haunts me
Such emptiness abounds
I’ve strayed long in the wastelands
a sheep so far from home
Lost – O God you found me
You claim me as your own

Blindness overtakes me
Perspective never there
Jesus meet the middays
of my hopelessness, despair

Jesus – you are welcome
Jesus – you are care
Christ– your nailed hands open
to each sinner, everywhere
God – we come, surrender
To your grace that calls us home
Lost – O God you found me
You love me as your own
You love me as your own
You love me as your own

David MacGregor © 2009  Willow Publishing download leadsheet


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