Posts Tagged 'lament'

come together … a new song

reconciliationJust written a new song – Come together, picking up themes of reconciliation, inclusion, harmony, love, repentance, and new life and future in Christ.

I guess it’s been inspired by a few things – this week’s national Uniting Church A Destiny Together – A Week of Prayer and Fasting initiative, some reflection on Ephesians 2 and Sunday’s Luke 4:5-42 (Jesus and the Destiny_TogetherSamaritan women at the well). I don’t claim to have any more insight or a clearer moral conscience on the deep issues of justice for Australia’s First Peoples than the next person. I don’t.  My songwriting has long been a journalling tool for me to reflect on all sorts of things in life.   More than anything this song – Come together – picks up the reconciliation theme.  I like any song I write to have application beyond a specific context … hence the way I’ve sought to put the lyrics together.  In no way does it want to avoid the place of lament, hence the first verse.  However, much of the song is upbeat, because in moving toward reconciliation one with another, transcending race, creed or gender we move closer to being one people in Christ.  This is the hope we are called to.

I’ll try to get a full piano score out in the coming days and maybe a vocal track.  For now, here are the lyrics and links to mp3 and music score.

Blessings – David

come together            leadsheet

Come together
Come together
We are one in God
through Jesus Christ
Come together
Come together
Christ our peace
and Jesus Christ our life

We’re humbly confessing
God help us addressing
Our pride dispossessing
For we’ve wrought pain
We come now repenting
We pray your forgiving
God’s grace reconciling
to live again
Come together

Come sister and brother
All creeds and all colours
Reach out to each other
all barriers down
Journeying together
Love for one another
No longer strangers
but friends in God
Come together

David MacGregor
© 2014 inspired by Ephesians 2
Willow Publishing


bright sadness

The whole situation in Japan is so overwhelming — and I’m not even there!  Add to this; earthquakes in Christchurch and Vanuatu, tragedy and unrest in northern Africa … and so on … and so on.

Came across what I found to be a  helpful piece of writing via a UnitingWorld email earlier today.

Our hearts are broken for our brothers and sisters in Japan.  Even the mere idea of more than ten thousand lost – perhaps many more – is too much to bear.  The terrifying footage, the unspeakable sorrow…

Facing such tragedies, Christians can do at least three things.  May God grant us the grace to do them well.

First, we can deny easy answers …

Second, we can pray …

Third, we can lament …

Click this link to access the full article

Grace & peace,


Congregational song – forming faith, making disciples – Week 2

Hi all

The teaching series kicked off well last Sunday – with some initial establishing some basics about the role of music in worship and especially citing the case for music seeking to engage the ‘totality’ of God and the totality of our human condition.   After this, we spent some time reflecting on congregational song  1. as praise   2. as prayer.  Yes, we sang lots.  I enjoyed the singing of a marvellous 20th century Fred Prat Green hymn: When in our music, God is glorified (I even played it on the new Allen organ in the evening) AND the way the congregation embraced the wonderful old Vineyard classic: Hosanna. In the evening service, we sang a South African short song: God welcomes all, as well as its companion piece, the (Themba) Amen.  This one was written in a South African hospice which works with HIV/Aids patients.  Great songs, and brought to world-attention through John Bell of the Iona Community

SO … on to today.  During all three services today, we’ll focus on the place of congregational song as:

  1. confession & lament
  2. proclaiming justice
  3. forming our intercessions and community life

I’m looking forward to it – though I’ll sleep well tonight!

Click here for a full transcript of today’s teaching.   For Christian ministry, non-profit use only please.




A friend recently sent me this poem.  It said a lot to me … maybe it will speak to you too.


When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother\’s piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold

And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying

Why is it that music
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
An ache a desolation
Deep as a homesickness
For some far-off
And half-forgotten country

I\’ve never understood
Why this is so

Bur there\’s an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow

For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest

And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation
For when we hear it
We half remember
That lost native country

We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams

And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows

Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.

\”Music\” by Anne Porter from Living Things: Collected Poems. © Steerforth Press, 2006

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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