Posts Tagged 'Jesus'

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


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

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

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
To our future
The future of all creation

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
faithful one

David MacGregor
Ash Wednesday, 2020

new song for Advent – “In This Time of Waiting”


No sooner back from two lovely weeks on our own and with great friends Jan & Glenn in Cairns, I’ve headed promptly into forward planning for November and December’s worship at my church.  That of course, includes the season of Advent – a time of waiting, watching, expecting, hoping and preparing … in readiness for celebrating Christ’s coming.  A special time.  For some years I’ve used the Cameroon song He Came Down That We May Have Love.

“Will I use that again this year?” I thought. No – inspiration came for something more reflective, while still making use of the four traditional advent theme of hope, peace, joy and love … a new verse sung each Sunday of Advent.

So … In This Time of Waiting  is written and ready for use.  See what you think!


score   mp3 backing

In this time of waiting

In this time of waiting
We will sing of hope
Hope in Jesus
who alone makes whole
In our expectation
We will sing of hope
Hearts of longing
We will sing of hope

In this time of waiting
We will sing of peace
Peace in Jesus:
Saviour, Prince of Peace
In our expectation
We will sing of peace
Hearts of longing
We will sing of peace

In this time of waiting
We will sing with joy
Joy in Jesus
Darkness won’t destroy
In our expectation
We bring sing with joy
Hearts of longing
We will sing with joy.

In this time of waiting
We bring hearts of love
Peace and hope and joy
Bound up in love
In our expectation
We bring hearts of love
Hearts of longing
We bring hearts of love

         David MacGregor
          © 2019 Willow Publishing

Come Out, Lazarus!


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!’

Overflow, Lord


I’m sharing something other than a song (though no apologies for when I do that Mindful of this Sunday’s RCL John 12:1-8 passage where Mary devotedly anoints the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume, I’ve written the following, as either a Call to Worship/Opening Prayer/post-sermon prayer. Feel free to use.


BTW, I’ve always loved an early Matt Maher worship song Overflow.  It’s there as a video clip after the prayer.



overflow, Lord
Overflow, Lord
Lord of life
Lord of love
Love at its highest,
deepest, widest
A holy love.

Overflow in me
Overflow in each one of us
Overflow in the full power
of your mercy and love
Touch every crevice
Every resistant, shameful
corner of our being

Overflow in us, Lord
Deluge us
Overwhelm us
With your love beyond imagining
Love you offer us profoundly
“Life-changingly” in Jesus
Love that transforms
Love that forgives
Love that renews
Love that never holds back

God of the overflow
We come to you
Yet loved
And loved again
Overflow in us, Lord
Transform us in Jesus
Transform us by your Spirit
Transform us
by your creative hand, O God

So we might love you
Worship you
Be your difference-making disciples

“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.


score   lyrics vocal mp3

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