Posts Tagged 'Easter'

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

“You, Me, Everyone” (Let’s change the name!)

Hi. Last year … though I needed some recent reminding, I wrote a child-friendly song of the Cross.  I called it Love You, wanting our response to Jesus’ action for us on the Cross to be emphasised.

Ever since, while continuing to be happy with the song itself (economy of words, singable, lends itself well for reflective actions etc) I’ve been uneasy with the title.   Is the Cross ultimately about us and our response OR first and foremost is it about God’s initiative through his Son.

Yes, it’s the latter – so Love You is no more.  Those coda words remain, but the title is changed.  You can now know it and sing it as You, Me, Everyonebecause that points us to back to where the initiative comes from – from God toward us.

Blessings,
David

score   lyrics vocal mp3

“On the Cross” VOCAL

Hi.

Dale’s just recorded her vocal for my new song On the Cross and done a great job. Have a listen.

 

mp3 vocal (Am)

mp3 backing (Dm)

score    lyrics link & song background

Cheers
David

On the Cross … a response to another song

Hi.

Just written a song of the Cross, the cross of Christ. In fact, I surprise myself as I recall writing very few songs of the Cross over the years.  Several concerning the rising of Christ, but really light-on when it comes to the Crucifixion.

And then …

I was at a worship service elsewhere on Saturday. Great service, which ended with a contemporary classic: In Christ Alone. I have a growing problem with just one line of the song; namely that line which sings “The wrath of God was satisfied”.

OK, I’m well aware of Christian teaching and theology down the ages on the atonement, but really … is that what “the Cross” is all about?  Not for me. It’s ultimately a sign of God’s love. So, along with many others I prefer to sing “The love of God was realised” … and have been doing so for about a decade now.   Interestingly, the Christian church’s theology of the Cross for its first 1000 years or so, was one that saw the Cross an the ultimate forgiving expression of God’s love, with also that aspect of Jesus’ faithfulness to the Father.  Wrath?   That sort of thinking seemed to come later in church history.

And then … last night, I sense I woke up in the middle of the night with the embryo of a song of the Cross … a basic tune and some key phrases.  Too tired to get up and hurriedly and sleepily-eyed write my thoughts down. If it’s worthwhile at all, I’ll remember it in the morning.

I did!  Here it is, with full piano score, lyrics, mp3 demo backing and a YouTube version of that.

Thanks to Isaac Watts for the last line: Love so amazing, so divine: demands my soul, my life, my all. Feel free to use it.  The last verse is meant to be hummed.

Ultimately for me, of course, this is not so much a response to what is an otherwise wonderful, worthy song, but hopefully my heart response to God’s love for me and all creation through Jesus.

Blessings, David.

score mp3 backing demo

On the Cross

1. On the cross
On the cross
as Jesus died
God’s great love
God’s great love
was realised
To forgive
To forgive
our brokenness

Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul
My life my all

2. Gift of love
Gift of love
There in my place
As “I forgive”
“I forgive”
tears down your face
you take it all
You take it all
in wondrous grace

Love so amazing …

3. On the cross
On the cross
Restored with you
Your faithfulness exemplified:
what Love can do! and
I but give
I but give
my thanks and praise

Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul
My life my all
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul
My life my all

David MacGregor  © 2019 Willow Publishing 

“Mary Magdalene” – a movie worth seeing

Hi.
Just back from seeing the movie Mary Magdalene. For me, somewhere between 3.5 and 4 Stars (out of 5). I disagree with those reviews that have poured cold water on the movie. For me, overall, it was  faithful to the biblical narrative (and where it wasn’t that wasn’t of great importance … no deal-breaker); it certainly made prominent Mary’s evolving sense of “call” to discipleship and that of “witness”, elevated the inbreaking kingdom of God to being a key thrust of Jesus and his ministry and made clear Mary’s spiritual, somewhat mystic devotion to the cause of Christ.

Very much a movie through Mary’s eyes and heart.  Garth Davis (think Lion) did well with his crew of “getting inside” who Mary may well have been, for down the centuries she has been portrayed in one of two extremes (albeit with some overlap) – devoted “apostle to the apostles” or a reformed prostitute.  Nothing in the movie to suggest either!

A highlight for me – without giving too much away – were a variety of “baptismal” segments and allusions.

Yes, Mary Magdalene plodded at times, especially early on, but maybe we’re too used to those triumphant gallop-along biblical dramas of the past or those highly sanitised films. There was commendable character devopment portrayed in Mary, Jesus, Peter and Judas. Dale and invited Church folk from Wellers Hill-Tarragindi UC to join us. Pleased a group did. Nice to debrief over lunch afterwards. Should do this sort of thing again. “Paul”?

Mary Magdalene? Go see it.

Easter blessings,

David


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