Posts Tagged 'discipleship'

What does “mission” mean to me?

What does “mission mean” to me?

My colleague Esteban invited me to reflect on that recently. Here are some initial, though incomplete thoughts …

Let me answer that in a few ways.

First of all “mission” for the disciple of Christ is joining and partnering with God’s mission. Scholars refer to this as the “missio dei” – the mission of God. Let’s not see mission as us “taking the good news of Jesus in our spiritual backpack” out to where God isn’t. God – Father, Son and Spirit is not only with us and we with God, but God is already out there. That is liberating!

Secondly, being missional is intrinsic to following Jesus. Just as we are all called to care for one another (regardless of how gifted we might be) so we are all called to be missional. When in Matthew 28 Jesus says to his band of disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples … baptizing them … and teaching them …” in a real sense Christ calls us to this too. It’s bound up in being an “apostolic” (i.e. sent) people. Mission always has an “outward”, beyond -ourselves movement.

And what is the mission of God?

Well, to a significant degree, it is about living out Jesus’ words in Luke 4:18-19 when he stands before the synagogue, reads from the prophet Isaiah and proclaims:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

It’s a passage I come back to again and again. I take the liberty of understanding its wording both literally and figuratively, with words or phrases such as “the poor”, “captives”, “sight to the blind”, “the oppressed” having such meaning and gravitas.

We are people of the Spirit. We are people saved by and called by the grace of God through Christ. The call that Christ embodied and by the Spirit still embodies is the same for us.

In Luke 4:21, Jesus rolls up the Isaiah scroll and asserts, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” It’s no different for us. When we partner with God in God’s mission; as we engage with others in sharing in word and action God’s good news in Jesus, that scripture of liberation is incarnated in each of us, by the grace of God it too is fulfilled in others’ engaging with us.

What a joy that can be!
Mission is about that too!

David

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

“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

 

Arms Open Wide (Build Wider Tables) … leadsheet & YouTube video

OK.
Dale and I have done some more work on our Arms Open Wide (Build Wider Tables) song; drawing on Christ’s John 13:34 “Love one another as I have loved you … ” text as well as the prominent current Lower Fences, Longer/Wider Tables catch-cry.

 

 

 

 

 

Now available:
leadsheet   lyrics
demo backing [G]

mp3 vocal [Bflat]

Thanks for affirming feedback already received!

Blessings

David

“The Peter Song” – an ever-evolving/adapting ministry song with kids

Been working on a kids song – The Peter Song – covering six chapters in the apostle Peter’s life in the gospels. Haven’t even touched Acts. Where once it was 3 1/2 minute marathon (completely non-kids-applicable) … I’ve now edited it right down, with each iteration just tackling two of the six segments.   Really, the verses are quite interchangeable. The pattern is simply this:

 

  • one verse
  • another verse
  • bridge
  • reprise one of the two earlier verses 🙂

Enjoy!   Blessings, David

backing track mp3 (shorter version)

Here’s the leadsheet for download. As per leadsheet here are three sets of lyrics:

  1. Peter
    Peter loves fishing
    Peter loves fishing
    By the sea
    Jesus
    Jesus says, “Peter”
    Jesus says, “Peter,
    Follow me”

2.   Peter
Peter is sinking
Peter is sinking
Water deep
Jesus
Jesus says, “Peter
Peter, have faith in
Faith in me” 

Oh Jesus
You are Lord, You are God
You are Saviour, Friend
Jesus you love, forgive
You love, you live
I’ll follow you to the end!

  1. Peter
    Peter loves fishing
    Peter loves fishing
    By the sea
    Jesus
    Jesus says Peter
    Jesus says Peter
    Follow me


3.  Peter
Peter is saying
Peter is saying
“You are Christ;
Son of
Son of the living
Son of the living
Living God”

4. Peter
Peter denying
Peter denying
Knowing Christ
Jesus
Jesus forgiving
Dying and rising
From the Cross    

Oh Jesus
You are Lord, You are God
You are Saviour, Friend
Jesus you love, forgive
You love, you live
I’ll follow you to the end!

4. Peter
Peter denying
Peter denying
Knowing Christ
Jesus
Jesus forgiving
Dying and rising
From the Cross    


5. Peter
Peter goes fishing
Peter goes fishing
By the sea
Jesus
Jesus says,”Peter”
Jesus says,”Peter
follow me”

6. Peter
Peter says, “Jesus”
Peter says, “Jesus
Yes, I do”
Jesus
Jesus says, “Peter
Feed my sheep now
Love them too
Love them too
Love them too!”

Oh Jesus
You are Lord, You are God
You are Saviour, Friend
Jesus you love, forgive
You love, you live
I’ll follow you to the end!

6. Peter
Peter says, “Jesus”
Peter says, “Jesus
Yes, I do”
Jesus
Jesus says, “Peter
Feed my sheep now
Love them too
Love them too
Love them too!”

David MacGregor
© 2018 Willow Publishing


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