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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

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“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’

“No Other Hands” – a discipleship song

A new song … No Other Hands

You see, I’m just back last night from an enriching Emmaus Walk, which I helped lead. The Emmaus movement has enriched and stretched me over 25 years, though I’ve been less involved in recent years.

Time and time again over the three days, as pilgrims and team refocused on so many things to do with faith and discipleship, in a special community of grace, I kept on coming back to 16th century words attributed to Teresa of Avila, though her authorship is disputed.

Many of you will know these well …

Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.

On Saturday, as people around tables discussed much about faith and discipleship … what it means to follow Jesus, somewhat surprisingly (because spare time was at a premium) I found myself penning a song based on these words.  I chose to keep it simple, and somewhat repetitive.  It’s called No Other Hands.  Didn’t seem right to share it on the walk (the walk is for the “pilgrims”), so I’m sharing it now.

For now, I’ve put together the most basic of backing track https://dmacgreg1.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/no-other-hands-backing-demo-c.mp3

as well as piano score. Vocal recording here now too.   mp3 vocal demo
Here’s the lyrics. Feel free to use, as a song of discipleship.

Blessings, David

Christ has no other hands but your hands
no other hands but yours
No body now on earth but yours
… no other hands but yours
… no other hands but yours.

Christ has no other feet but your feet
no other feet but yours
No body now on earth but yours
… no other feet but yours
… no other feet but yours.

Yours are the eyes for Christ’s compassion
the eyes for Christ to see
To look out on a hurting world
… the eyes for Christ to see
… the eyes for Christ to see

Christ has no other hands but our hands
– no other eyes to see
Ours are the feet to do God’s work
… the ones to bring God’s blessing
… the ones to love, to bless

David MacGregor

© 2017 Willow Publishing
based on words traditionally attributed to Teresa of Avila

On the Road (Hearts are burning) … road to Emmaus song

With many churches focusing on the Luke 24 Walk to Emmaus narrative this Sunday and my approaching Emmaus Walk involvement in a months time … I found myself the past 24 hours writing a song as my reflection on that gospel passage.   More about that soon ..

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 11.26.05 am

I’m typing this late morning on Anzac Day, home an hour or so from a moving local Anzac ceremony at a local park.  I offered a prayer.  Our church once again offered Anzac Day coffee, tea and Anzac biscuit hospitality.  Thanks HB and team.  In recent years, thanks to my brother’s wonderful family history work some years back, I’m increasingly grateful of the service offered by my grandfather Thomas Laur McGregor at Gallipoli, Middle East and France during WW1 as an ambulance officer.

Thomas Laur MacGregor plus

me, Thomas Laur McGregor, Howard Thomas MacGregor (father)

To the song … here it is, with rough backing track.  Feel free to use.   score   lyrics  mp3 backing demo

On the Road (Hearts are burning)

Far too long
we have walked in fear
Far too long in despair
‘til Christ transcending
transforms, revealing
in bread that is broken and shared

Hearts are burning
Spirits stirring
Eyes are op’ning
On the road
   Hearts are burning
Spirits stirring
As Christ meets us … on the road

O Christ, your presence
It draws, awakens
Your Spirit within us ignites
O Lord, inspire us
O Lord, sustain us
You send us to love, be your light

Hearts are burning
Spirits stirring
Eyes are op’ning
On the road
Hearts are burning
Spirits stirring
Christ, you meet us … on the road
Hearts are burning
Spirits stirring
Christ, you meet us … on the road

                     David & Dale MacGregor       © 2017 Willow Publishing.  From Luke 24:13-35

“More Than Dream” – the interview

Hi
My friend Matt Gees was at my worship album launch this past Saturday night.
As I was coming down from “the cloud” and gratefully signing some CDs, Matt asked if he could interview me.  Provided I could get hold of a cold drink and a coffee, I was more than happy to.
This is Matt’s interview.  I found it a personally helpful exercise reflecting some more one the More Than Dream journey and how the whole songwriting and songs-for-worship thing has been for me.   Matt does some work with Vision Radio.
To access my album (you could even purchase it – hard copy or download it) go to this link for the CD-in-hand version or to any of iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon for download/streaming.
Check out Matt”s interview. Thanks Matt

David

sss


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