Posts Tagged 'cross'

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

score
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

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Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2) vocal

Hi folks. Dale’s recorded a nice vocal for my latest song Jesus is Lord! based closely on the Christ Hymn from Philippians 2:5-12.  I blogged about this just a few days back. Blessings,  David

score
lyrics
demo backing track  (in A minor)
vocal demo (in E minor)

 

Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2)

phil-2-5New song … as I prepare to preach this Sunday on Philippians 2:1-13; one of the great passages of the Christian scriptures.   Still working on the sermon (barely started 🙂 but I’ve got a new song, paraphrasing verses 5 to 11, which many scholars think was an early Christian hymn.

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Over the years I’ve wondered how this hymn actually went, especially musically.  How singable was it?  Was it upbeat?  Was it reflective?   Parallel to all this, I’ve been reading a great article from a book by the late Henri Nouwen called The Selfless Way of Christ, in which Nouwen points to Christ in full humility taking the path of “downward mobility” in the form of a slave, all the way to the Cross and beyond. I’ll connect with that this Sunday. A minor key seemed to be in order, yet rounded off with a repeated coda of “Jesus is Lord”.  Done scorelyrics  and demo backing track for now (piano/flute melody line).  A nice echo at the end!

Meanwhile, here’s my adapted lyrics, David.

Let the same mind be in you as in Christ Jesus
Though he was God freely emptied himself
Taking the form of a servant
in human likeness
Humbled himself in obedience
– to death on the cross

So God exalted him
his name high over all names
At Jesus’ name every knee should bow down
In all of heaven
and on earth around and under
To the Father’s glory
every tongue cries, “Jesus is Lord!”
“Jesus is Lord!”
“Jesus is Lord!”
“Jesus is Lord!”

from Philippians 2:5-11
David MacGregor   © 2017  Willow Publishing

the Reproaches

Greetings.

An unusual sort of post for me. Been doing some Good Friday worship service planning – and have decided to use the Uniting Church’s sample Good Friday service in Uniting in Worship 2 this year,

I noted a week or so back that it uses the ancient tradition of the saying of the Reproaches.  This can also involved individual veneration of the cross – namely people coming to a large wooden cross amid/before the congregation and them kneeling at it or even kissing it.

Now, I’m not going with this where you might be concerned I am.  This is not about worshipping a piece of wood.  A helpful article explains things:

The full article is here.

All of this is by way of mentioning that I’ve written a really short (I mean short!) congregational sung response for a slight adaptation of the traditional Reproaches response:

cantor: Holy God
cong’n: Holy and mighty
Holy, immortal God
 have mercy on us

music score  simple mp3 backing

Grace and peace,

David

not ashamed

A bit of back-to-back blogging about to happen from me.

Hi folks.
This Sunday’s lectionary gospel is Mark 8:31 to 38 …

“ All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them. Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? What will people give in exchange for their lives? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Human One m will be ashamed of that person when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels. ” (Mk 8:34b-38)

This has been a significant passage in my faith journey, and I’d be the last to suggest that I live these words of Jesus all that well!

My strongest connection with this passage (and it basically appears in all four gospels) is its use among 4000 young (and barely-young … that’s me) young people at NCYC 1991 (the Uniting Church’s National Christian Youth Convention) over a week in January in Toowoomba, Australia.

Tony Campolo was the keynoter speaker.  His input was incredibly challenging; putting it to us fair and square want it meant to be an authentic disciple of Christ.  Yes, it would mean carrying our cross (perhaps figuratively, but perhaps also literally).  The cost of doing this would be very real.  Gulf War I was within days of breaking out.  Who knew what the implications of this would be to the world’s well-being.  Campolo in short put it to each of the 4000 there: are you up to it?

My response was: Yes … though with much trepidation and “what am I letting myself in for?”.  As is me, I put my response to song, penning what for me is a song which has maintained it’s ‘currency’ and sense of longevity: Not ashamed.  It’s very much an affirmation of faith … an affirmation of “I will follow you, God wherever, however, whenever.  I’m yours.”

Not Ashamed       music score mp3  vocal (in C)

Not ashamed to love
Not ashamed to serve
Not ashamed to be following Jesus.
Put myself aside for my Lord who died.
Not ashamed to be following Jesus.

1. Lord your call is strong
to follow you along a
not so easy road.
Are we prepared to die?
Are we prepared to love?
Will we carry a heavier load?

2. To forget ourselves and
trust in someone else:
that’s the cost of life in You.
As we give You all
we shall gain much more.
It’s the road You call us to.

© David MacGregor 1991
based on Mark 8:34-38

Grace & peace,

David


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