Posts Tagged 'together'

gathering stones together

As a child of the 60s and especially 70s, songs like Pete Seeger’s Turn, Turn, Turn and particularly the Byrds’ classic interpretation of it are indelibly etched deep in the memory banks. Based closely on verses from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 in the Bible, they speak to the times, that everything has a season.

Of course I type this during an ever-lingering pandemic season. Victoria has just recorded a record 725 COVID-19 cases, Queensland is about to close its borders to New South Wales and the ACT. What “under heaven” is this world coming to?

More than once during this season I’ve mused how this is a God-given time in birthing a new normal; to come together across the political, cultural, racial, religious and philosophical or religious divides. Yes, come together.

So many of my songs somehow use that word – together. No apologies … when I read St Paul writing in 2 Corinthians 5 of the call to be reconcilers with one another, thanks to Christ making that possible … I just can’t escape that word: together. We simply mustn’t.

Today I was musing about all of this; the song of course, but particularly that line for Ecclesiastes 3: a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together.

That really struck me. Humanly speaking, that’s what the world needs. We need to be on about gathering stones together … building on … building up each other. My stone touching yours and yours mine. No time for throwing stones or prejudice or exclusion or oppressive practices or just plain ignorance at another.

So Gathering Stones Together was birthed. I’ve stayed close to the Biblical text, rearranging text here and there for purposes of rhyme and emphasis … all the way reiterating that it’s surely time in this new world, this new, strange season to gather stones … stones smooth, rough big, small, bright, dark together.

The Kingdom of God and the love Jesus offers all and calls from us all demands nothing less.

mp3 backing

Time for everything
Time for everything
Time for everything under heaven
Time for birth, for dying
Time for laughing, crying
Time for gathering stones together
Wo-oh-oh
Time for gathering stones together

Time for love’s embrace
Time for love’s embrace
Time for everything under heaven
Time for breaking down
Time for building up,
Time for gathering stones together
Wo-oh-oh
Time for gathering stones together

Time to plant, to reap
To discard, to keep
Time for everything under heaven
Time to tear, to sow
Time to gather, throw
Time for gathering stones together
Wo-oh-oh
Time for gathering stones together

Bridge 
Time to come together, wo-oh-oh (x3)
Time for gathering stones together …

Time for war, for peace
Time to dance, to weep
Time for everything under heaven
Time to lose, to seek
Time for silence, speak.
Time for gathering stones together
Wo-oh-oh
Time for gathering stones together
Wo-oh-oh
Time for gathering stones together.

     David MacGregor
     © 2020 Willow Publishing
     from Ecclesiastes 3

Shalom,
David

 

Arms Open Wide

A new song, with help from Dale, as we travel into 2019, inspired by two pieces of wisdom:

  • Christ’s vital words in John 13:34 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another
  • Words from a Sojourners New Years Day reflection that really challenge me for 2019 and beyond

… drawing on that profound slogan about building longer tables, not higher fences, walls or borders.

So, while on holidays and having just GarageBand for iPad and mandolin with me, I’ve written Arms Open Wide. The recording is very scratchy but take a listen. Vocal of this eventually.

arms-open-wide-demo-backing-2.m4a

“Hear what I’m sayin’ and
Hear what I’m prayin’
You are my disciples
when known by love”
Love in the caring
Forgiving, forbearing
Love ever-giving”
… the Love from You.

So come together
Yes, come together
Come, love together
Arms open wide
Break down the borders and
Build wider tables and
Reach out your arms
stretch them open wide

“Hear what I’m sayin and
Hear what I’m prayin
You are my disciples
When known by love
Each time you welcome
a sister, a brother
You welcome the One
whose life is Love”

So come together
Yes, come together
Come, love together
Arms open wide
Break down the borders and
Build wider tables and
Reach out your arms
stretch them open wide


So come together
Yes, come together
Come, love together
Arms open wide
Break down the borders and
Build wider tables and
Reach out your arms
stretch them open wide
Reach out your arms
stretch them open wide

David & Dale MacGregor (C) 2019

arms-open-wide-demo-backing.m4a

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

A heart 4 U (update)

Greetings all

Just realized last night, as my eyes were nearly shut that I hadn’t provided the most up-to-date version of the leadsheet for the song now called: A heart 4 U.

So here it is, along with a link to two backing tracks (the second with a saxophone-melody line throughout):

leadsheet
backing track
backing track (with sax melody line)

Blessings,

David

a heart for you (working title)

Last week the Uniting Church in Queensland met (400 or so from across the state) for our synod: a 5-day gathering that happens every 18 months.  A key part of journey over those days (and in fact the 6 months prior AND the 18 months following) was … and will continue to be … the Together on the Way process a time of discernment for the future of the Church in Queensland.

We were invited to reflect on a draft statement or response to God’s call, along with a listing of core Gospel Values. Over a week has flown by since – I’ve been reflecting on these draft statements and values.  Yesterday the embryo of some song lyrics came to me – I guess it’s my journey with the process; my sense of who the Uniting Church is called to do and be in these times and into the future – in response to the prompting and gifting of the Spirit.  The tune etc has had umpteen drafts and redrafts — until it’s at the stage now where the chorus does it justice and it’s in a singable key (for me anyway!)

Its working title (as suggested by an e-group respondent is A heart for you – with “you” having the twin connotations of ‘God’ and ‘others’

Goes like this.  leadsheet

A heart for you

1. Ever moving on a journey
Ever travellers on The Way
Ever open as communities of grace
Knowing your renewing spirit
God you call us: faithful be
The love of Christ has saved us, set us free

With a heart for justice
With feet of compassion
uniting with hope in Christ our Lord
witnessing in faith
to the One who calls us
proclaiming Christ in deed and word

2. Ever offering compassion
Loving neighbour as you love
Ever serving in the name of Jesus Christ
Bringing God’s transforming hope for all
in overflowing joy
In Christ, the truth the world will not destroy
With a heart for justice …

3. Ever speaking out for justice
Ever telling out God’s truth
Ever risking Jesus’ way, despite the cost
Being doers of God’s justice
Loving, sharing mercy’s heart
Walking humbly with our God
How great you are!
With a heart for justice

© David MacGregor 2010
Willow Publishing

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