Posts Tagged 'cross'

the Reproaches


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,


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,


the message of the cross

This Sunday I’m preaching on 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 – part of Paul’s teaching on the Cross of Christ

foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God

There is of course and endless repertoire of “cross” songs out there.  This Sunday I’ll use (via a Youtube/Songs of Praise) Graham Kendrick’s wonderful Meekness and Majesty.

Yet – as I’ve worked on my sermon these past days, a song emerged.  I’m really happy with it.  Words and leadsheet link are below. Stylistically, think the same groove as my Not ashamed from years ago (written at the time of NCYC 1991!).  At Dale’s encouragement, I’ve managed to insert something about Christ’s resurrection in the bridge – a sort of ‘building’ and ad lib repeated thing.  Some of the other cross songs have for me – some suspect theology or are just too soppy.  I hope this one’s not – please tell me if it is.

Blessings, David

the message of the cross

Tell out the One who died
The Christ, the crucified
Your pow’r, your saving grace
Your death, our life
Foolishness for worldly eyes
Pow’r for all who live your life
This is the message of the cross

For all of us being saved
it is your power
In speaking out your truth
we’re fools for some
The wisdom of the world
in you comes crashing down
For on the cross
It’s all been said and done

Your foolishness is wiser
than our wisdom
Your weakness
is stronger than our might
You choose the weak and foolish
so to shame the strong
Christ there upon the cross
You set things right


There on the cross
you died for us, you save us
There from the grave
You bring your risen life
(repeat ad lib)

David MacGregor leadsheet
© 2011Willow Publishing


the world says … Jesus says:

Through the inward/out blog, I came upon this great quote today from Frederick Beuchner

the world says …  Jesus says:

If the world is sane, then Jesus is mad as a hatter and the Last Supper is the Mad Tea Party. The world says, Mind your own business, and Jesus says, There is no such thing as your own business. The world says, Follow the wisest course and be a success, and Jesus says, Follow me and be crucified. The world says, Drive carefully—the life you save may be your own—and Jesus says, Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

The world says, Law and order, and Jesus says, Love. The world says, Get, and Jesus says, Give. In terms of the world’s sanity, Jesus is crazy as a coot, and anybody who thinks we can follow him without being a little crazy too is laboring less under a cross than under a delusion.

Source: Listening to Your Life

Add your thoughts at inward/outward

Not ashamed. Are you serious?

footsteps4This past 24 hours or so, I’ve been confronted in all sorts of ways with the challenges and realities of Mark 8:31-38. Especially verses 34 and 35: If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

Yesterday morning as I spent some quiet time when I awoke, last night at a Lent study group, this morning at staff devotions – these words of Jesus kept coming to me. They’re there in Matthew 16 and Luke 9 too.  In the middle of my reflecting, I came upon these words in the  inward/outward blog. It’s a Franciscan Benediction …

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

Source: unknown

Continue reading ‘Not ashamed. Are you serious?’

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