Posts Tagged 'David MacGregor'

Ride on, Jesus!

When in the States with Dale in late February, I had a retreat day … using an excellent resource by Irene Alexander that my presbytery had made possible . We were encouraged to read one of the New Testament Palm Sunday narratives, reflect on wrote it a wonderful (c) John August Swanson painting, and if we wished, do something creative with our musing. This time, this monologue came to me.
Feel free to use, with attribution.

I share it with you. It’s called Ride on, Jesus!

(C) John August Swanson

RIDE ON, JESUS!

Blessed?
Blessed?
Absolutely!
Absolutely!
Anyone who can draw in this sort of crowd
This sort of adulation
This sort of fervour
Hey, they must be blessed!

A rock star welcome!
Jesus, ride on!

Crowds out in their multitudes
from every crevice in the Jerusalem woodwork
… stonework
to meet you
to greet you
to praise you
to worship you
to check you out

to check out this oddity
this living, breathing, polarising
Captivating conundrum
that is you
the one who rides into town
as Prince of Peace
Not warrior of war and might …
as one who mounts a donkey
as one I’ve heard Peter proclaims
as the Christ, the Lord, the Messiah
as the Son of the living God
as the one … as the one
who soon will be mounted to a cross

as one who says
turn the other cheek
as one who offers
a new commandment to love
as one who rebuts the establishment’s cries
for the cheering to cease
as one who in the middle of this jubilant mayhem
cries out: “I tell you, if they keep quiet,
the stones under your feet will cry out!”

as one who says the last and the least and the lost
will come first
first at the table
first in your new kingdom
of grace, welcome,
hope and life
salvation

as one who not only talks about God
but who is God
who not only calls us to holiness
but is holiness
who not only calls us to repentance
but is repentance
who is forgiveness

Jesus, ride on!

Jesus, God
we’ve taken in your teaching
we’ve marvelled at your miracles
we’ve wowed at your wisdom
But how could all this be?

I’m waving my palm branches
My red cloak is laid out as you come by
Red cloaks, blue cloaks, green cloaks
They’re all being waved.
Green – for life and peace
Blue – for something deep in the soul … the heart
Red – well, raising a red flag means
Sit up and take notice
Something’s happening here
Something unusual
maybe even not right
Yes, red flag for me.
This is no ordinary parade
No ordinary welcome.

Forget the soldiers, the scoffers, the skeptics
I’ve heard what they think of you …
nothing but treachery
nothing but blasphemy
nothing but insurrection
nothing but elimination

Jesus
I can only tell my own story
We can only tell our own stories
When it was all hopeless
You offered my hope

When I was afraid
You offered your presence
When I felt forgotten
You brought me in
Offered welcome
Life in abundance
Life overflowing.

Is that what everyone around me
hollers about?
The latest Messiah
to get us out of our deep mess?
I’ve heard you’ll be tried
I’ve heard you’ll be betrayed
I’ve heard you’ll be ridiculed something shocking
I’ve heard – to be blunt
– they want to get rid of you
once and for all.

But that’s not all I’ve heard
I’ve heard there’s more to you
There always seems to be more to you.
That you promise a response
Like only God can offer
There always seems to be more to you.
You say the taints and torture
A deathly torture, no less
It won’t be the end
No way.
will be just the beginning.

So Jesus
Ride on
You Prince of Peace
Ride on
You healer of hearts

Ride on
You Son of God
… to your future
Not for yourself
No!
To our future
The future of all creation
Forever

So Jesus
bring in your kingdom some more
Go to your cross
Go beyond
Save us
Love us
Free us!
Ride on, Jesus!

Ride on
Blessed
Obedient,
faithful one
Saviour
Befriender
Welcomer
Redeemer
Messiah
Christ
Lord

David MacGregor
Ash Wednesday, 2020

Songs of hope for tough times

Hi.

A few days back, following up encouragement from others, I posted a YouTube playlist: SONGS OF HOPE FOR TOUGH TIMES. Here it is … nine songs of mine, including a few reflective instrumentals.  You may well have heard or sung some of them before.

I thought I’d include these songs:

I’ll Hold You Forever (Do Not Fear)
Reflecting on God’s constant promise in Scripture:  “Do not fear, I am with you”

We’ve lit a candle
As the coronavirus pandemic was deepening across our nation and worldwide, we joined folk lighting a candle each evening in our front window in solidarity with others doing the same, joining in solidarity and prayer.  On 22 March, churches across Scotland did just that.  A prayer was provided.  The lyrics of that prayer form the basis of this song.

Never let go
This song of wasn’t written for these COVID19 times. I wrote it almost five years ago while walking along the beach and reflecting on the fading health of a much-loved member of our community. Yet amid the struggle, I couldn’t escape the promise of my Christian faith through scripture and personal experience, that God never lets us go. Dale did a brilliant vocal, backed up on vocal and guitar by Peter, a longtime friend, himself struggling with life issues. I share it because I believe it can speak into our current times too.

Bring your peace, Lord
In part inspired by some significant well-being challenges I faced in the second half of 2015 and Stephen Foster’s profound song Hard Times (Come again, no more) I wrote this one, in the style of sorts of an American spiritual.

No other hands
Based on the words allegedly centuries ago of the Christian music, St Teresa of Avila

Presence
This one dates back about 15 years.  It’s in my humble opinion, one of the best instrumental pieces I’ve ever written.  As I wrote it I was incredibly aware of the presence of God.   It continues to evoke that presence.

Fall
Written just days ago as autumn (fall) happens in the Southern Hemisphere and as treasured customs in society start falling or straining too amid all that the coronavirus pandemic throws up.

Because the Lord’s my shepherd
This is a real “oldie”; written ca. 1979 for an all-age musical I’d written called Rock-on Goliath, based on the Old Testament David & Goliath narrative.  This one is sung by “David” and is based on Psalm 23.  Chris Macnaught played David in this production. Many years later, Chris recorded the song professionally.  He does a fantastic job.

Irish blessing
Vocals by a longtime friend Katharine McPhail, this is my setting of the much-loved words of blessing.  I’ve been touched by how many people have been blessed by this song,.

Take care.
Blessings,
David

“Am I Free … ?”

Am I Free …?  is a new song written, on invitation, and in response to the freedom of speech / freedom from discrimination debate currently rife in my country of Australia and indeed around the world.  When and where and why should a person of faith be able to share in the public space (including social media) what they believe … without fear of repercussion and sanction. The rugby-playing fate of Christian Wallaby Israel Folau brought this to a head and informs much of my musing in this song.

But more than that … how can we be a more tolerant, compassionate, listening, empathetic and dialoguing society?  How can our debate be characterised by love and mutual respect, especially for the neighbour … the one who is different in whatever way from us?

The level of what for me is clear partisanship by some Christian friends in and around the recent Australian federal election also connect with this.   Can we see the potential and intent in the other’s position as not inherently bad?  How can we be as one, without seemingly demonising the other point of view.

leadsheet  lyrics    mp3 vocal [Am] Continue reading ‘“Am I Free … ?”’

“When At This Table” – vocals

Dale and I have recently recorded vocals (well, Dale has 🙂 for my recent setting of Shirley Erena Murray’s When At This Table.

Feel free to use for your personal reflection or in worship.  Mind you, it’s the sort of reflection – as per Shirley’s deep lyric, that will propel you to action and response. Just saying!
Blessings,
David

score   lyrics  mp3 vocal

 

“When at This Table”

I’m a long time admirer of the contemporary hymn poetry of New Zealander Shirley Erena Murray. Her songs are sung around the world.

Last night, as is my way, I started reflecting on the lectionary gospel reading for next Sunday, 5 May.  It’s from John 21 and features initially the disciples’ fruitless fishing expedition … until Jesus “appears”, gives them a Plan B … and a miraculous catch follows.  Later, Jesus asks Peter there times if Peter loves him. Peter, with incredulity responds. Each time, Jesus calls Peter to feed his sheep.

That’s the backdrop.  So, I looked at available music via the wonderful Singing from the Lectionary site.  I found this song, When at the Table.  The accompanying tune was OK, yet taking in the profound lyrics, it triggered a new communion song setting within me.  So, I offer it to you. For me, it provides wonderful connections between worship, mission justice-making and Christ who feeds us in word, sacrament and by the Spirit.  If using, please be faithful to CCLI/OneLicense copyright recording for both lyrics and music.

score mp3 backing-melody

When At This Table

1. When at this table I receive a blessing
The broken bread the wine of life for me
Then let me share the peace with you my neighbor
And let the Spirit set our spirits free

2. If at this table I have need of healing
Unbidden grief relationship gone wrong
Then let me know that hands of God enfolding
And let lament become believing song

3. If at this table I forget the hungry
The dispossessed and warfare’s spreading stain
Then let this bread become the bread of judgment
This wine the sharp awareness of that pain

4. If at this table I make dedication
To give my life in serving what is good
Then let my center be where God invites me
And show the words of Jesus understood

5. What faith I have I bring to join this table
What hope I hold in Christ is taught and true
With brothers sisters I will share the blessing
The feast where God is making all things new

Shirley Erena Murray
© 2004 Murray, Shirley Erena

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