Beyond These Shores by Iona

I was sent the lyrics to this song after my mother died and found this version on youtube this morning that I have been listening to and meditating on. I thought that some of you would enjoy it too.

Songs by Steve Bell for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Rainbow tree - posted by Micha Jazz

Song writer and musician Steve Bell has several beautiful posts for this holy weekend that I thought you might like to be aware of

This one for Good Friday features the song Gone is the Light

 

Gone is the Light  
Music and lyric by Gord Johnson
appears on Steve Bell’s Devotion album (see below)

Into the darkness we must go
Gone, gone is the light
Into the darkness we must go
Gone, gone is the light

Jesus remember me
When you enter your Kingdom
Jesus remember me
When your kingdom comes

Father forgive them
They know not what they do
Father forgive them
They know not what they do

Into the darkness we must go
Gone, gone is the light
Into the darkness we must go
Gone gone is the light

And this one for Easter Sunday features another beautiful song Was It a Morning Like This. 

Was it a Morning Like This | Jim Croegaert

Was it a morning like this
When the sun still hid from Jerusalem
And Mary rose from her bed
To tend the Lord she thought was dead

Was it a morning like this
When Mary walked down from Jerusalem
And two angels stood at the tomb
Bearers of news she would hear soon

chorus:
Did the grass sing
Did the earth rejoice to feel you again
Over and over like a trumpet underground
Did the earth seem to pound He is risen!
Over and over like in a never ending round
He is risen! Alleluia!

Was it a morning like this
When Peter and John ran from Jerusalem
And as they raced for the tomb
Beneath their feet was there a tune

An Old Irish Blessing by Denes Agay

I love Irish Blessings and as I get ready to travel to Australia tomorrow this seemed a very appropriate one to post.

Jeff Johnson Joining Us For Celtic Retreat & Selah Service

As many of you know, in a couple of weeks we will celebrate our 21st annual Celtic retreat on Camano Island. There is still  time to sign up. This year we have a special treat as Jeff Johnson, internationally known Celtic musician will provide music and a special service in the evening. I have used Jeff’s music for years as background for my Advent devotional videos. He is one of my favourite contemplative musicians. Here is a little more information:

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Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson

Since 1977 Jeff Johnson has produced and recorded a body of work reflecting his journey of faith and creative musings. His many solo projects segue rich instrumental passages with songs that feature Jeff ‘s uniquely interpretive vocals producing soundscapes full of wonder and beauty.

Much of his current solo work is derived from his experience with leading the Selah service, which combines simple Taizé chant and other original choruses, hymns, as well as instrumental passages with Biblical based readings and silent prayer in the church’s rich tradition of contemplative worship.

Johnson is perhaps best known for his collaboration with Irish flutist, Brian Dunning. Their CDs have often been inspired by the evocative stories of best-selling novelist, Stephen Lawhead including the acclaimed Byzantium, which includes a track featured in the Martin Scorsese film, Gangs of New York.  In addition, many of their songs have been included on some of the most popular compilations of the Contemporary Celtic genre including those released by Windham Hill and Hearts of Space.

Jeff has recently been collaborating with world renowned guitarist, Phil Keaggy, on the critically acclaimed instrumental CD,  Frio Suite and the soon to be released, WaterSky.

Jeff lives on Camano Island, Washington with his wife, Susie. For more information, please visit:  www.arkmusic.com

Christ Has Walked This Path music video link:

 

U2’s Easter Anthem Window in the Skies – post by Lee Wyatt

Easter is coming

Easter is coming

This morning’s post comes from Lee Wyatt. It was first posted on her blog Marginal Christianity 

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U2 gave us our Lenten anthem this year with their song “Walk On.” It seems appropriate to let them lead us into Easter as well. Their beautiful song “Window in the Skies” is a Resurrection ballad that extols the wonders of “what love has done” from God’s raising of Christ from the dead to the manifold ways God’s love raises us to new life today.

This song was recorded at Abbey Road where the Beatles recorded their hit song “All You Need Is Love.” The cover for this song has the four members of U2 crossing Abbey Road. It is eerily reminiscent of the famous album cover of the Beatles crossing that road with Paul out of step with the rest of the band giving rise to all sorts of speculation about his demise.

It is worth picking up on this comparison. The Beatles were cheerleaders for the sexual revolution/free love movement of the sixties. We believed then that human love could overcome all barriers and obstacles and lead us to the promised land. U2’s “Window in the Skies” preaches a different gospel: a more than human love, indeed divine love itself, has come to us, we did our worst to despise and reject that love, yet it proved itself more powerful than any grave into which we could cast it. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead has opened forever a “window in the skies” through which streams freely and forever breathing healing and new life into all our relationships. The Beatles and U2, though recording at the same place, preach very different gospels, one of which is no gospel at all but merely a new name for slavery. U2’s gospel, however, it truly good news. God has acted to do what we cannot, even at our loving best – grasp the genuine humanity and vocation for which we created!

The first verse stakes the claim that freedom and peace have come because death itself has been undone and life, true life, flows among us again. Indeed, “the rule has been disproved.” Death is not the final word, the last chapter of human life. “The stone it has been moved,” and forgiveness and new life are given to us all!

“The shackles are undone
The bullet’s quit the gun
The heat that’s in the sun
Will keep us when there’s none
The rule has been disproved
The stone it has been moved
The GRAVE is now a groove
All debts are removed

Oh can’t you see what love has done
Oh can’t you see what love has done
Oh can’t you see what love has done
What it’s doing to me”

Resurrection love, contra merely human love, creates strange bedfellows with its enemy-loving, hate-destroying, relationship renewing ways. The genius, the power of this love, is that is gets us “out of our heads” and into God’s “heart”. And from there our attention is wholly captured by the passion to share that love that we have found (or better, has found us) with all we meet – “Oh can’t you see what love has done, what it’s doing for me”!

“Love makes strange enemies
Makes love where love may please
The soul and its striptease
Hate brought to its knees
The sky over our head
We can reach it from our bed
You let me in your heart
And out of my head

Oh can’t you see what love has done
Oh can’t you see what love has done
Oh can’t you see what love has done
What it’s doing to me

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

Please don’t ever let me out of you

I’ve got no shame
Oh no, oh no

Oh can’t you see what love has done
Oh can’t you see
Oh can’t you see what love has done
What it’s doing to me

I know I hurt you and I made you cry
Did everything but murder you and I
Our love left a window in the skies
And to love I rhapsodize

Oh can’t you see what love has done
To every broken heart
Oh can’t you see what love has done
For every heart that cries”

And this is all due to the powerful reality that “Love left a window in the skies.” Jesus’ resurrection opened the world to God’s love in a way that it can never be shut out again. Indeed, this love, God’s death-defeating resurrection love, will bring us to the promised land.

“Love left a window in the skies
And to love I rhapsodize

Oh can’t you see”

It’s this kind of love that enables us to “Walk On” as we make our way to the kingdom of God. Have a most blessed Easter!

Celine Dion Sings Oh Holy Night

Oh Holy Night seems like the perfect carol to post on Christmas Eve (at least it is Christmas eve here in Seattle). Many blessings to all of you as we remember the birth of our saviour

Someone also just sent me this history of Oh Holy Night written by richard Rohr.

 
In 1847, a parish priest in France asked a simple wine merchant in his church if he would compose a poem for the Christmas Mass. He wrote the words to the music that became O Holy Night and will be sung with great solemnity and emotion in many halls and churches throughout the world tonight. It deserves to be.

I offer this song because of one truly inspired line. It says that when God came among us in the shape and form of Jesus, suddenly “the soul felt its worth!” Yes, that is it! We cannot mirror ourselves; we all must be mirrored by another. When God mirrored us through the entrance, invitation, and eyes of Jesus, the certainty of our redemption was once and for all given and accomplished. In Franciscan eyes, we needed no further blood sacrifice to reveal God’s intentions toward us. We were already saved by the gaze from the manger.

The poet goes on to sing further of “a thrill of hope” and a “new and glorious morn.” Again, well said, as poets and musicians so often do! I am sure much of the conscious or unconscious sentiment of this feast is that tonight and tomorrow, on some wonderful level, the soul finally and forever does feel its worth!

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine
 

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need—to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!

O Holy Night, words: Placide Cappeau, 1847
(Minuit, chrétiens, c’est l’heure solennelle);
English singing rendition by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893).
Music: Adolphe C. Adam (1803-1856).

~ Richard Rohr, December 2011

O Come All Ye Faithful by Liberia

Here is a beautiful rendition of another of my favourite Christmas carols:

Libera performing O Come All Ye Faithful on Christmas Cooks which aired 25 December 2007.