Posts Tagged 'healing'

Come Out, Lazarus!

Hi.

I simply couldn’t find a good children’s ministry song about Jesus’ raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-44).  Couldn’t. So … I wrote my own.

Of course, that narrative is a bit problematic for me. The perennial (and unavoidable) question is: why didn’t Jesus Christ attending to an ailing, dying Lazarus pronto.  Jesus’ response to the disciples (v11) is: “ Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”

Not sure how well that would have washed if that was me.  Jesus healed many at their particular point of need and with immediacy.  Why not, especially with a best friend, this time around?  I have no really easy answers to that, I confess.  Life is like that.   Some questions perhaps best remain unanswered.

Jesus’ words to a grieving Martha in v. 25 are of course, memorable:

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

So, in writing a kids’ song, it’s the verse 25 aspect I chose to focus on.  Messing around with rhythms on GarageBand for iPad, I randomly selected the “hip hop machine” rhythm.  Time for a change from folk-country-rock 🙂 I built the song around it, with lots of off-beat clapping throughout.

Continue reading ‘Come Out, Lazarus!’

Never Let Go

A new song. holding handsIt comes as for many months, I and many others at my church have found themselves coming to grips with both realities and possibilities with Mike (not his real name), as Mike battles cancer. In and out of hospital. Multiple chemo and radiation treatment.  Extended times of debilitating pain.  Mike is a person of deep faith, who believes earnestly in the potential of prayer and that God is one who chooses (but not always, and that’s the rub) to heal.

So without fail, when I meet with Mike, we pray for God’s wholeness and healing, and entrust Mike’s future again and again to God. Increasingly folk have shared with me the challenge of not knowing quite what to say to Mike when they meet with him.  They too are people of prayer, who trust in God’s endless possibilities.  Yet, like me, they concede that Mike’s days (and we pray its years) are ultimately in God’s hands.   More and more I’ve sought in various ways to remind Mike that God is one who is faithful, who is always present, who journeys with him and his family through thick or thin and will never, ever let him go.

As these sentiments have jumped very much around, and as I walked a sunny winter’s Gold Coast beach a few days back, the phrase, “You’ll never let go” came to me … and the start of a song. While crafting Never Let Go, more and more promises of scripture – in the Psalms, the Prophets, in Wisdom literature and Christ himself; they started coming to me.  I considered basing the song on the one psalm. No, this song somehow has allusions to a great many precious verses of scripture.  I wish I could have included them all in this song.  So – here it is, with a rough backing track; my trusty digital flute providing the melody line, for what I pray is a helpful and gentle affirmation of God’s presence and faithfulness … always.  Always. Peace, David

score   lyrics  mp3 backing demo

You’ll never let go
Jesus, you hold us tight,
through darkness and night,
through gladness and light
You’ll never let go

You are our shelter
our days in your hands
Your love firm and faithful
amid shifting sands You’ll never let go …

Mountains may stumble
and hills fall to dust
Your love will not leave us
nor peace we can trust You’ll never let go …

Come, be our stillness
Be with us, come stay
We trust in your promise,
our refuge, your way
You’ll never let go
Jesus, you hold us tight,
through darkness and night,
through gladness and light
You’ll never let go (you’ll never let go)
You’ll never let go (you’ll never let go)
You’ll never let go

 David MacGregor
 © 2015 Willow Publishing
 inspired by portions of Psalm 46 & Isaiah 54

healer of hearts

Hi!

This Sunday at two of our worship services, we’ll be having Services of Prayer for Healing.  With these, we’ll adapt resources from the Iona Community.  I resonate with their perspectives on this:

  • our prime responsibility as Christians with this is to be faithful in prayer.  God will be God and in God’s way and timing, healing will come.  We do know that God is God of hope, compassion and wholeness
  • the ministry of prayer for healing is a calling to the whole community of faith.  That’s why the whole congregation, in ways each person finds comfortable, will have opportunity to be part of things
  • God offers healing of body, mind and spirit – whether this be individidually OR within relationships, groups, communities, nations.

Yesterday, I worked much of the day on the services for Sunday and my sermon.  This of course included music choices.  I definitely want to use John Bell and Graham Maule’s We cannot measure how you heal.  (scroll through the link – it’s there).

However, I wanted to share more personally in song – with some inspiration and encouragement coming also from the wonderful verses in Psalm 61. Healer of hearts is the outcome.  Here are the lyrics, with leadsheet here – hot of the presses.

See what you think.

Blessings,
David

healer of hearts

You’re the healer of hearts
when we’re opened wide
You’re the healer of hurts
when we’re pained inside
You’re the healer of body, mind and soul
Jesus, bring us your life
Come, make us/me whole

Hear my cry, O God,my prayer
From the heart in deep despair
When I’m far from anywhere
Let me know that God, you’re there

You’re the healer of hearts …

Keep me safe from harm’s cruel way
You’re my refuge, come what may
God in you: my life, my way
In your presence night and day

You’re the healer of hearts …


David MacGregor
© 2010  Willow Publishing
inspired by Psalm 61:1-4

Write a new song

jeremiah-31_33bI don’t often preach from the Old Testament, but I feel led that way this Sunday.  Jeremiah 31 has always been inspiration to me.  It reminds me that God is God of relationship, and the covenant relationship God forms with God’s people is something so close that God says via Jeremiah:

I will write my laws on their hearts and minds.  I will be their God, and they will be my peopleJeremiah 31:33

I find myself amid this amazing creative burst of the Spirit – I can put it down to nothing else.  So, here is the embryo of words for a quite-reflective song for this coming Sunday – the final lyric and melody not quite there, but close I think.  Stay tuned.  My thought is to have a very low-key time this Sunday across all of our services for people to recommit, re-engage, rededicate themselve to God – to claim the new song God has written in Jesus – and claim it for their hearts and minds.  Interesting!  Here’s the initial lyric. Think – acoustic guitar & gentle piano. PIANO SCORE download

Write a new song

Write a new song
Write a new song
Write it deep in my heart
You are God, O
we’re your people
Write it deep in my heart
Write it deep in my heart

Etch it deeply
Etch it deeply
Etch it deep in my mind
You are God, O
we’re your people
Etch it deep in my mind
Etch it deep in my mind

Come forgive us
Come forgive us
Heal us whole, deep within
You are God, O
we’re your people
Heal us whole, deep within
Heal us whole, deep within

Write your new song
Etch it deeply
Come forgive us within
You are God, O
we’re your people
Come anew in my heart
Come anew in my heart

David MacGregor
© 2009  Willow Publishing   piano score

Bushfire song

A week or so back, I received this contemporary hymn lyric from Peter Woodward, a ministry colleague of mine with the Uniting Church; in Peter’s case – in Ipswich, Queensland.  It’s Peter’s musings on the flood and fire dramas of recent weeks here in the north and south of Australia.  I offer it with Peter’s blessing …

To God be the glory: how can we sing this
when fires destroy us and floods threaten life?
A world that is suffering and wants to know why
can barely believe in a God in the sky.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord: seems a torment to us.
God of Love! God of Love, we are conflicted and lost.
We come to you Father and want to believe;
so help us see Jesus and know that you grieve.

For all who are suffering and all who are lost
we pray special caring whatever the cost.
In all of our neighbours, O, help us to see
the call to look out and build community.            Peter Woodward (C) 2009


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