Posts Tagged 'ash'

create in me a clean heart

Hi!

Amid everything else that’s been happening in our family life this weekend – and with Ash Wednesday just 3 days off – I’ve written a new setting of some of the key verses of Psalm 51.  I’m really happy with it!  (“OK, you say that about all your songs, David!”.) Well, I am a hard critic of myself.  Currently I’m away at our church camp at beautiful Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast, Australia; so I won’t be able to offer leadsheet at least until this evening.  Stay tuned.

For now, here are some lyrics:

Create … in me a clean heart
(Create in me, in me a clean heart)
Create … in me a clean heart
(Create in me, in me a clean heart)
Create … in me a clean heart
(Create in me, in me a clean heart)
and renew a right spirit within me

Chase me not away from you, God
and take your holy spirit not away from me
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
sustain a willing spirit deep in me

Create … in me a clean heart
Create … in me a clean heart
Create … in me a clean heart
and renew a right spirit within me

Help me, Lord to speak and I will praise you
Off’rings, sacrifices you don’t choose
It pleases you when sorrow wells deep in us
[It pleases you:  a heart that knows repentance]
The kind of sacrifice you won’t refuse

Create … in me a clean heart
Create … in me a clean heart
Create … in me a clean heart
and renew a right spirit within me

© David MacGregor 2010
from Psalm 5
1

Bushfire song

A week or so back, I received this contemporary hymn lyric from Peter Woodward, a ministry colleague of mine with the Uniting Church; in Peter’s case – in Ipswich, Queensland.  It’s Peter’s musings on the flood and fire dramas of recent weeks here in the north and south of Australia.  I offer it with Peter’s blessing …

To God be the glory: how can we sing this
when fires destroy us and floods threaten life?
A world that is suffering and wants to know why
can barely believe in a God in the sky.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord: seems a torment to us.
God of Love! God of Love, we are conflicted and lost.
We come to you Father and want to believe;
so help us see Jesus and know that you grieve.

For all who are suffering and all who are lost
we pray special caring whatever the cost.
In all of our neighbours, O, help us to see
the call to look out and build community.            Peter Woodward (C) 2009

Losing my grip

YOUNG WOMAN RECEIVES MARK OF ASHESThis morning, I shared in our church’s Ash Wednesday service.  It’s only in recent years that I’ve come to appreciate its value.  It’s become more than that service when we paste ash crosses on each other, though we do – Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.  In “Sojourners” I’ve just read a reflection from Michaela Bruzzese, called “Losing Our Grip.”

We live in an addictive society, and we need to allow the spirit of freedom to pry us free from its grip. We all long for security and happiness, and we need to free ourselves from the idols that promise both but can deliver neither.” Jesuit Dean Brackley sums up the work of Lent: prying ourselves free from the false idols around us – or perhaps prying the false idols out of our hands! In the next four weeks, we will enter a process of cleansing; we will learn how to recognize and reject our false gods so that we will know Christ resurrected

Lent – and this article helps, directs me to discern where my true priorities are in life.  Who am I serving?  Who is God for me?   Who … what must I lose my grip on?  Folks like me are most comfortable when they are in control; my hands tight on the wheel … or is that the wheels that I steer in life.

Lent calls me to lose my grip … to open my hands … to bare myself before God … with the prayer as from Psalm 51: Create in me a clean heart, O God.  Lent … and especially this Ash Wednesday assures me, once again from Psalm 51: The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.  Phewww!!!

Lent calls me further; having loosened that grip, to reach out with open hands, open heart and open mind to – in a sense – grip my hands afresh around the all-giving love that is Jesus. Continue reading ‘Losing my grip’


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