mgpcpastor's blog

reports, reviews, thoughts, news (and fun) posted by Gary Ware

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To Heaven Restored – New From Cardiphonia

Last week Cardiphonia released To Heaven Restored.
Though a continuation of the practice of ‘retuning’ older lyrics, this project has a significant difference.

Here’s the introduction.

a1435259097_2Holy Week has always been filled with the cries and songs of God’s people. From the chants of “Hosanna” at Christ’s Triumphal Entry to the hymn the disciples sing with Jesus after the upper room passover meal to Jesus’ own cries of Psalm 22 from the cross. Music is the gift God has given us to express the intensity of both communal events and personal laments. In this spirit we offer you a collection of new songs rooted in the life of Christ and the testimony of the church to the good news. Christ has died, Christ is Risen. Christ will come again!
The texts for this compilation come from a collection of hymns Charles Wesley published in 1746 “Hymns for Our Lord’s Resurrection.” Nestled away in this collection is a nine stanza hymn riffing on a section of a very long Anglican prayer called “The Great Litany.” The short piece we choose for this compilation is a meditation on the glories of Christ’s birth, life, death, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. It is an amazing poetic and theological vision of Jesus Christ and our life with him.

Have a listen.

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Easter Sunrise Service In A Cemetery

There was a sunrise service on Easter Sunday at Mount Gambier’s Valley Lake.
But last week I saw this photo illustrating a blog post by Michael Milton.
Milton writes about a boyhood memory of attending an Easter Service in a cemetery.
We wouldn’t do it here.
I think.

But I love this photo.


An American Easter Service in the Cemetery. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

As a bonus here’s a suitable song from Andrew Peterson for accompaniment.

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Everyday Resurrection Life

On Sunday I used the illustration (from N.T. Wright, I think) about real celebration of resurrection life and how there should have been champagne on ice out in the morning tea room. And how there should be champagne on ice there every other day.
And I don’t really even like champagne that much.
Now that’s really just a metaphor.
It’s just that popping corks are somewhat associated with celebration in our culture.
For some it would be having a cup of tea using the fine china cups from the china cabinet and a tea-pot (not tea bags) and home-made biscuits (not packet ones).
But the kingdom of heaven is not eating and drinking.
Our celebration is living holy lives with lavish abandon.
Some may think that holiness is about restriction and not doing things.
It is about freedom to do everything pleasing to God.
With outrageous enthusiasm.
Because He is risen.

More thoughts from Paul Tripp here.

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William And Catherine, Duke And Duchess of Cambridge, Attend St Andrews’ Cathedral Sydney On Easter Sunday

The Bible Society have a post about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attending an Easter Morning service at St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral in Sydney.
You can easily search around and find many other articles.
Perhaps not all of those will mention the central focus of the morning.
“Despite the hype and thousands of royal fans clamouring for a glimpse of the royal couple beyond the Cathedral doors, no mention was made of the Duke and Duchess during the service. In a nod to the real reason for Easter, the Dean of the Cathedral, Phillip Jensen said in his opening remarks: “We’re here today to welcome the Prince—of Peace, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings.””

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Mike Baird, New South Wales’ New Premier On Character And Personal Faith (via CPX)

Mike Baird is the new Premier of New South Wales following his predecessor’s rapid departure due to forgetfulness.
Christian Faith wasted no time posting this three-year old interview with Baird conducted by the Centre For Public Christianity.
It provides a little bit of background and some information on the new leader of New South Wales’ aspirations regarding personal character.

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Thine Is The Glory – Sunday Songs

We sang this at a sunrise service led by the local pastors and later at mgpc.
What more needs to be said.
He is risen!

The lyrics:
Thine is the glory,
risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory
thou o’er death hast won.
Angels in bright raiment
rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes
where thy body lay.
Thine is the glory,
risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory
thou o’er death hast won.
Lo! Jesus meets us,
risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us,
scatters fear and gloom.
Let the church with gladness
hymns of triumph sing,
for the Lord now liveth;
death hath lost its sting.
No more we doubt thee,
glorious Prince of life!
Life is naught without thee;
aid us in our strife.
Make us more than conquerors
through thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan
to thy home above.

I think we sounded as good as this, so it’ll give you some idea of how we went.

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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 16

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 16

Q. Why did Christ have to suffer death?
A. Because the righteousness and truth of God are such that nothing else could make reparation for our sins except the death of the Son of God.

Q. Why was he “buried”?
A. To confirm the fact that he was really dead.

Q. Since, then, Christ died for us, why must we also die?
A. Our death is not a reparation for our sins, but only a dying to sin and an entering into eternal life.

Q. What further benefit do we receive from the sacrifice and death of Christ on the cross?
A. That by his power our old self is crucified, put to death, and buried with him, so that the evil passions of our mortal bodies may reign in us no more, but that we may offer ourselves to him as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

Q. Why is there added: “He descended into hell”?
A. That in my severest tribulations I may be assured that Christ my Lord has redeemed me from hellish anxieties and torment by the unspeakable anguish, pains, and terrors which he suffered in his soul both on the cross and before.