Archive for July, 2017

Put on Love in Perfect Measure

A songwriting first … well I think so!   lyrics
This past four days, I’ve joined 18o folk from around Australia at Transforming Worship (click for video highlights) the Uniting Church’s national worship conference – with guest speakers: Ruth Duck (USA), Mark Pierson (NZ) and Stephen Burns (Melbourne, but originally UK). Its been an enriching conference in so many ways.

Ruth Duck is one of the world’s foremost hymn writers and has been for decades.  Ruth writes wonderful new words to (mostly) well-known tunes.  I mostly write new tunes and words, occasionally a new tune to exisiting words but perhaps never new words to an old tune.  That is, until these past days. I chose to go to a three-session writing workshop with Ruth. I appreciated her insight, facilitation and encouragement.

By yesterday morning, to the tune of Hyfrodol (yes, mispronounced as you know what), I’d written a paraphrase of Paul’s classic “put on love” passage in Colossians 3:12-17. Hyfrodol is a well-known tune for such hymns as Wesley’s Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

I initially resisted using the phrase “put on love” … memories of a kids song by that title many decades ago 🙂 I tossed between writing a broad reflection in song on that passage OR a closer paraphrase.  I settled for the latter.  We workshopped it in a group setting yesterday.  I enjoyed that. In some ways it’s still a work in progress. Perhaps I’ll add in something about God “wrapping us up” in God’s love.

For now, this is my take on that passage. Not sure how often I’ll do this.  Somehow I think the “new tunes … new lyrics” approach suits me best.  Anyhow, feel free as always to not only use the song but also make suggestions for improvement!  Blessings – David

Put On Love in  Perfect Measure

Put on love in perfect measure
Chosen people, holy, loved.
Clothe with kindness, God’s compassion
Tol’rance, each one God’s beloved.
All forgiven, all forgiving
In the grace of Christ our Lord
Bound as one in perfect measure
Above all
we put on love

Put on love and patience, gentleness
Modesty, wear all around
In our hearts let peace rule deeply
Peace our call; within, without
Ever thankful as your body
May Christ’s peace dwell deep in our heart
Bound as one in perfect measure
As your people
each playing our part.

Let the word of Christ dwell richly
Teach each other on the way
May our doing, saying, living
Be in Jesus’ name, we pray
Giving thanks to God, Creator
Singing psalms and songs in praise
Bound as one in perfect measure
Clothed with love
through all our days

David MacGregor
© 2017 based on Colossians 3:12-17
Willow Publishing.
 Tune: Hyfrodol

“I belong to you” – 40 years on – reconciliation

Hi. Just had a lightbulb moment.  Yes – a song: an old, old song. You see, I’m finalising my planning for our local church celebration next Sunday (16 July) of the Uniting Church in Australia’s 40th birthday. A significant thing to celebrate, as hopefully an impetus for moving forward.

I find myself reflecting on what I’ve valued in my 40 years in the UCA (not to mention the 22 Presbyterian Church years beforehand). One word pops out more than any other – reconciliation.  I can’t escape Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:19

God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting our sins against us, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation

 

I find myself impacted more and more with the truth that reconciliation is about breaking down the barriers, it’s about bringing people together, it’s about seeing the face of Jesus in the other through the eyes, hands and heart of compassion.  About dealing lovingly with difference.

That’s it.  Whether it’s First and Second People’s coming together, people of different cultures, faiths and denominations coming together, people across the political or socio-economic divide coming together, people across the generations coming together in worship or community service, people coming together at God’s Table … for me, this is reconciliation in some way or another.   And I’m glad to be part of a church, a movement actually (so often imperfect, so often …. ) that’s sought to live out the reconciliation God not only offers through Jesus, but as importantly calls us to as disciples.  This strange church I belong to keeps on committing itself to bringing people together.  I’m so glad.  So what about the song.

Continue reading ‘“I belong to you” – 40 years on – reconciliation’


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