Category Archives: Peter – The Rock

Peter – The Rock at Swayfield and Grantham

Richard’s second musical. Peter – The Rock was performed on

  • Saturday, 15 September 2018, 7.30pm
    at St Firmin ‘s Church, Thurlby, South Lincolnshire.
  • Saturday, 22 September 2018, 7.30pm
    at St John the Baptist Church, Morton, Bourne, South Lincolnshire.

photo of everyone at Thurlby 15.9.18

From Richard:

Many thanks to Janet, Sue, musicians and choir for two splendid performances.  Much appreciated by those who attended.  Each Church benefitted financially from our efforts.

 

The Choir at Swayfield on 3rd November, 2017

Janet Roberts, Musical Director, and Richard Rice-Oxley, Composer

The Choir at Harrowby Lane Methodist Church on 5th November, 2017. SORRY about the Chair!!

Anita, our wonderful Narrator

Mother and three daughters, members of the Choir, including a lovely soloist on the right.

Helen, one of our splendid soloists!

Sue Worrall, our maestro on the keyboard!

Chris, alias Peter, with his wonderful voice!

Katy, our able clarinetist giving a rich musical sound.

Words of songs in Peter – The Rock

1. Follow, Follow

Follow, follow, follow where the Master leads.
Follow as he goes out meeting human needs.
See him feed the hungry, see him heal the lame,
See him share the good news, then go and do the same.

Peter by the lakeside heard the Master’s plea
Leave your boats and fishes and come and follow me.
‘You’ll join a band of brothers and I’ll be at your head,
From now on no more fishing, no, you’ll catch folk instead.’

Peter followed Jesus wherever Jesus went.
He walked with him and talked with him, saw how his life was spent.
He saw the cross on Calv’ry, he saw the empty grave;
Then out he went to share the news: it’s Jesus Christ who saves.

Today as in past ages the Master’s still the same
He calls us to follow and go out in his name.
Some in our own country, and some in lands afar,
We all can go for Jesus wherever we are..

2. What sort of a Man?

What sort of man is so fully human,
loving people parties and wine?
Yet the sort of man who is somehow different,
touched by the flame of the divine?

What sort of man can walk on water,
bring peace to a raging sea?
What sort of man can feed five thousand,
heal the sick, make demons flee?

What sort of man can teach in parables,
make us laugh as he shows us the way?
What sort of man can point to nature,
reveal God’s word, his truth convey?

What sort of man really values women,
offers them respect and dignity?
What sort of man says, you must become children,
if you’re to be the people God wants you to be?

What sort of man treats everyone equally,
high and low, the rich and the poor?
What sort of man confronts the religious,
those quick to blame, but not to restore?

What sort of man spends hours in prayer,
calls God Father, a familiar friend?
What sort of man says, you too can know
this Father on whom we can depend?

3. The Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-law

Once I was poorly, lay sick on my bed,
pain in my body, pain in my head,
Sweating and feverish, almost wished I were dead,
Healed, will I be healed, ever be healed?

They told Jesus about me, as he came through the door.
‘Please can you help her, her body restore?’
Jesus lifted me up – I was well as before,
Healed, I was healed, really healed.

Then I was laughing, then I was glad,
No longer feverish, no longer sad.
So I cooked us the best meal that we’d ever had.
Healed, God’s power revealed, God’s power revealed.

Then she was laughing, then she was glad,
No longer feverish, no longer sad.
So she cooked us the best meal that we’d ever had.
Healed, God’s power revealed, God’s power revealed.

4. Confession of Faith

(Jesus) You are Peter, Peter the rock,
and on this rock I will build my church.
This is the church that will stand forever
Against it even hell shall not prevail.

When Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi
he asked ‘Who do people say that I am?’
(disciples) ‘John the Baptist or one of the prophets.’

(Jesus) ‘But who do you say I am?’
(Peter) ‘You are the Messiah, God’s anointed.
You’re the Son of the Living God.
You’re the Saviour we’ve been expecting,
the One we’ve been waiting for.’

(Jesus) ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah,
for no human being has revealed this to you,
but you have learned of it directly from my Father.
It’s he who has shown you this truth.
I will give you the keys of the Kingdom.
What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven,
and what you loose here on earth
will also be loosed in heaven.’

5. Jesus Shines!

Jesus shines! See his radiant light.
Jesus shines! What a glorious sight.

There upon the mountain height
he changes as we watch with awe,
sun-like face and clothes of white –
dazzling Jesus!

Then we see in heavenly glory Moses and Elijah,
leaders in our nation’s story, talk with Jesus.

(Peter) ‘Let’s make for each of you
a tent where you can find shelter,
prolong this time, it’s heaven-sent –
a gift from Jesus.’

Suddenly there comes a cloud
covering that mountain sheer,
and a voice calls out aloud:
‘Hear my Son, Jesus’.

6. How many times?

How many times, Lord, how many times?
How many times must a man forgive?
Must I forgive my brother seven times?
How many times must I let him live?!

He’s trampled on my feelings, he’s trampled on my corns,
When I try to help, my advice he always scorns.
I am chewing my nails and I’m pulling out my hair,
my head is just as sore as the head of that bear!

He’s the bane of my life, I can’t have any fun.
He’s never around when there’s a job to be done.
He knows that I’ll forgive him, he knows I’ll let him off,
so when I rebuke him, all he does is scoff.

(Jesus) ‘Not seven times, but seventy times seven
you have to keep forgiving ’till you get to heaven.
Remember God your Father always pardons you,
so forgive your brother ’till your life is through.’

7. Footwashing at the Last Supper

At the Last Supper, the disciples fell out:
‘I am the greatest’ they cried.
Each one thought they should have the best place
at the Master’s side.

So Jesus took off his outer clothes,
poured water into a bowl.
Then he washed his disciples feet,
drying them with a towel.

When he came to Simon Peter:
‘You’ll never wash me,’ he said.
(Jesus) ‘If I don’t wash you, you’re not one of my own.
(Peter) ‘Then wash also my hands and my head.’

Jesus put back his outer clothes,
returned once more to his place.
He taught them the meaning of what they had seen –
To treat each other with grace.

(Jesus) ‘What I have done when I washed your feet
is an example for you.
You must wash one another’s feet,
yes, this is what you have to do.’

8. Denial

When Jesus was arrested, Peter fled into the night .
He followed at a distance, keeping out of sight
He came to the High Priest’s courtyard, and when he went inside
Someone recognised him – too late to run and hide!
‘You were with that upstart, when he walked the land.
You were his companion, one of his chosen band’

(Peter) ‘I do not know the man, I’ve never met him,
If I had met the man, could I forget him?’

Another person looked at him, and they said just the same:
‘Surely you were with him, surely you know his name’

(Peter) ‘I do not know the man, I’ve never met him,
If I had met the man, could I forget him?’

‘Yes, you were travelling with him, it’s as clear as day.
You’re from the north, from Galilee, your speech gives you away’

(Peter) ‘I do not know the man, I’ve never met him,
If I had met the man, could I forget him?’

This third time Peter was accused, a third time he denied.
Then a cock crew – Christ’s words came true,
Peter went out and cried.

(Peter) ‘Of course I know the man, of course I’ve met him.
He’s just looked straight at me, could I forget him?’

9. Restoration

(Jesus) ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’
(Peter) ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’
(Jesus) ‘Feed my lambs.’

(Jesus) ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’
(Peter) ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’
(Jesus) ‘Shepherd my sheep.’

(Jesus) ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
(Peter) ‘Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you.’
(Jesus) ‘Feed my sheep.’

(Jesus) ‘Truly I tell you, when you were young,
you used to tie your own belt and walk wherever you wished.
But when you grow old, someone else will tie you up
and take you where you don’t want to go.
But now follow me.
So now I say as I said when I called you, come and follow me.’

10. Peter’s Song of Thanksgiving

The night I denied him it was total despair.
No light in the tunnel just black everywhere.
No way of changing what I had done.
A life of regretting had just begun.

But then the risen Christ saved me and put me back on my feet,
forgave and restored me made my new life complete,
and he gave me a mission to go out to mend and to heal
to celebrate the God of love his power and grace reveal.

After the cross I was down and depressed
Like the other disciples, I feared an arrest.
No hope for the future, Jesus was gone.
My world had just ended, couldn’t go on.

But then the risen Christ saved me and put me back on my feet, forgave and restored me made my new life complete,
and he gave me a message to share with the folk all around
of a living hope, through Christ my Lord,
by whose love I’ve been found.

That first Sunday morning we were in the locked room.
Mary Magdalene came: ‘He’s been removed from the tomb.’
Two of us set out, hurrying on.
We found the tomb empty, the body had gone

Down by the lake burned a charcoal flame,
A stark reminder of my night of shame.
Three times Jesus questioned ‘Do you love me?’
My chance to cancel my threefold treachery.

But then the risen Christ saved me and put me back on my feet, forgave and restored me, made my new life complete,
and he gave me a mandate to care for his people like sheep.
A shepherd to all who on him call, a flock he trusts me to keep.

11. Sing to the Lord

Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with joy;
come before him with happy songs!

Never forget the Lord is God.
He made us, we belong to him;
We are his people, we are his flock.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
Go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise him.

The Lord is good;
His love is eternal,
and his faithfulness lasts for ever.

12. And God Said

Dark was the earth, empty and shapeless.
Thick were the clouds hanging over the deep;
The Spirit of God was sweeping the waters
waiting the word of the Father to keep.
And God said, ‘Let there be light, Bright light in the darkness.’

Cold was the valley, silent and eerie,
dry were the bones lying over the ground;
The Spirit of God came sweeping down on them, t
he bones joined together and flesh came around.
And God said, ‘Let there be life, New life for those who were dead.’

Poor was the maiden, humble and gentle,
bound were her people, awaiting release,
The Spirit of God came sweeping down on her,
Mary became the Mother of peace.
And God said. ’Let there be love, My love shown in Jesus.’

Hushed were the people, still and expectant,
silently praying for God’s promised hour,
The Spirit of God came sweeping down on them,
they lifted their voices and spoke of God’s power
And God said, ‘Let there be joy, Joy spreading to everyone.’

13. The Spirit of God

Well, the Spirit of God is a mighty strong breeze,
he blows like the wind in the old forest trees
The Spirit of God is a mighty strong breeze,
he blows and he blows, and he blows in your soul.

The Spirit of God is a cleansing fire.
He burns up hatred, greed and desire.
The Spirit of God is a cleansing fire.
He burns and he burns, and he burns in your soul.

The Spirit of God is a mighty good friend.
When you’re on trial for Jesus he’s there to defend.
The Spirit of God is a mighty good friend.
He stands by, he stands by, he stands by your soul.

The Spirit of God is a mighty good teacher.
He opens God’s word so the meaning can reach yer.
The Spirit of God is a mighty good teacher.
He builds up, he builds up, he builds up your soul

The Spirit of God, he’s so good at praying.
He sorts out your thoughts, so God knows what you’re saying.
The Spirit of God, he’s so good at praying.
He prays and he prays and he prays in your soul

14. There’s no other name

(Peter) There’s no other name but Jesus.
There’s no other name but Jesus
There’s no other name but Jesus
by which we must be saved.

Peter and John by the temple,
met a beggar who was lame
Peter said, ‘I have no money,
but be healed in Jesus’ name.’

When Peter pulled him up,
his feet and ankles were restored
Jumping up, he began to walk,
then leapt and praised the Lord.

Seeing him, people wondered
at what had taken place,
Peter said, ‘It is through Jesus
he has received this sign of grace.

The Jewish leaders arrested the two
and asked about what they had done
‘Who gave you the power to heal?
Tell us, who is the one?’

(Peter) ‘This man has been restored to health,
by the name of Jesus alone.
The stone that you rejected,
has become the cornerstone.’

15. Cornelius

(Peter) When I was praying, I had a vision:
lowered from heaven, a sheet was seen.
Inside were beasts of every kind, both clean and unclean.

‘Up, Peter, take your knife, then kill and eat.’
‘No, Lord, that’s not my way, I won’t taste unclean meat.’
‘Don’t call unclean what I call clean’
a voice rang out both loud and clear.

Then three men came from Cornelius, Roman soldier of Caesarea.
Arriving at Cornelius’ home, I heard how an angel spoke:
‘Find Simon Peter – a messenger of the God you invoke.’

Then I knew what my vision meant: ‘See things the way I see –
whoever calls upon my name belongs to my family.’
As I preached the good news of Jesus, who forgives all wrongs,
the Spirit came down on to them, and they spoke in other tongues.

I was amazed that by Gentiles the Holy Spirit had been received,
sent from above, just as to us, we who first believed.
Surely they can be baptised, baptised in Jesus name,
from now on we will all be one, in Christ we are all the same.

16. Rescue from Prison

I was knock, knock, knocking, but nobody came.
I was knock, knock, knocking, what a crying shame!
They prayed for my release, but when this was achieved
my sudden return was simply not believed!

After James was killed, Herod’s men arrested me.
I was kept in prison, guards watch constantly.
Suddenly an angel appeared in my cell, said:
‘Tie your belt and sandals, put on your cloak as well.’

My chains had been released, and I was free to go.
Was this a vision? I just didn’t know.
We passed by the guard and out of the jail.
When the angel left me, I knew this was for real.

At the house a maid came, then ran back
to tell the other disciples: ‘Peter’s free from his cell.’
They didn’t believe her – I continued to knock.
When they opened the door, they got a mighty shock.
I told them my story, how God answered their prayer,
sent his angel to free me to go anywhere.
I said: ‘Tell this to James and the rest of the church.’
Then I went on my way, to avoid Herod’s search.

He was knock, knock, knocking, but nobody came.
He was knock, knock, knocking, what a crying shame!
We prayed for his release, but when this was achieved,
his sudden return was simply not believed!

17. A Time to Build

Now is the time, the time for unity.
A time to care, a time to share
A time to forgive, a time to forget.
A time to meet, a time to build.

For too long now we’ve been divided.
Race and religion have kept us apart.
Now’s the time for us to be united.
Let’s love one another from the heart.

Now loving one another is no easy matter,
problems and tensions are bound to arise.
But God our Father is waiting to help us.
Let’s ask for the love he supplies.

Now Jesus is the one who’s brought us together.
We all alike were the cause of his death.
All alike by him we’ve been forgiven,
alike receive his Spirit’s breath.

18. Come to the Lord

Come to the Lord, come to the Lord,
come to the Lord, the living stone.

Come to that stone rejected by the world,
but chosen by God as precious.

Come as living stones, and let yourselves
be built into a spiritual temple.

You are God’s own people chosen to proclaim
the wonderful acts of our living God

19. Faith Tested

Gold is refined by fire to make it pure.
May the fiery trials which test your faith help that faith to endure.
Your faith is precious, more precious than gold.
When it is tested, rejoice and be bold.

When God seems far away and you feel all alone,
Remember Jesus’ promise: ‘I won’t leave you on your own.’

When you’re the victims of abuse and hurts you don’t deserve,
Remember that this was the lot of Jesus whom you serve.

When the sorrows that you feel are making your heart break,
Remember that Jesus is sharing your heartache.

20. Kingdom Road

Kingdom Road, Kingdom Road.
We are travelling the Kingdom Road
With Christ as our guide and our friends at our side,
we are travelling the Kingdom Road

Now we have a message that’s second to none,
the message of a Father who sent his Son.
He died on a cross, bearing all the world’s sin.
He brought us God’s kingdom and welcomed us in.

Now we have a mission, a mission of love,
to care for all the children of our Father above,
The poor and the lonely, the weak and the lame,
we reach out to help them in Jesus’ name.

Now sometimes our journey seems tiring and long,
we travel better, when we sing a song.
So join hands together and lift up your voice,
let everyone know that Christ is your choice.

21. Singing for Jesus

We are singing for Jesus. We’re swinging with Jesus.
We’re bringing to Jesus the whole of our lives
We’re growing in Jesus. We’re going for Jesus.
We’re showing that Jesus Is Lord of our lives

Now we’re not rich. No! And we’re not famous
but we’ve got Jesus – praise his name.
And Jesus is worth more than riches.
He is worth much more than fame,
More than fame – la la la

Now some folks say Hey! that we are crazy.
And some folks say you’re out of your mind
But we all know that we’re not crazy
’cos Jesus brings us peace of mind.
Peace of mind – la la la

Vocal score for Peter – The Rock

Peter – The Rock is a musical composed by Richard Rice-Oxley
based on text from the New Testament

Choral Arrangements by Janet Roberts

The vocal score in pdf format for each song in Peter – The Rock can be downloaded by clicking the links below.

1 Follow follow (The call of Jesus)

2 What sort of man? (Peter reflects on the character of Jesus)

3 The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law

4 Confession of faith (Peter affirms Jesus as Messiah)

5 Jesus shines! (The Transfiguration)

6 How many times? (A humorous look at an age-old problem)

7 Footwashing at the Last Supper (Jesus’ call to humility)

8 Denial (Peter’s night of shame)

9 Restoration (Peter is forgiven and commissioned for service)

10 Peter’s song of Thanksgiving

11 Sing to the Lord (A psalm of praise)

12 And God said (The Holy Spirit makes a difference)

13 The Spirit of God (The Holy Spirit makes a difference)

14 There’s no other name (The healing of the lame man)

15 Cornelius (A Roman soldier finds faith)

16 Rescue from prison (An angel sets Peter free)

17 A time to build (Jews and Gentiles brought together by Christ)

18 Come to the Lord (An invitation to faith)

19 Faith Tested (An encouraging word to persecuted Christians)

20 Kingdom Road (Celebrating our journey on the King’s highway)

21 Singing for Jesus

Peter – The Rock

Peter – The Rock

A musical journey into the life of St Peter
by Richard Rice-Oxley

Choral arrangements by Janet Roberts

Peter – the Rock. The story of Saint Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ, leader in the Early Church and a martyr, is a new musical with a score for choir, soloists and instrumentalists.  There are 21 songs and a linking narration.

The first performances were in Swayfield Village Hall on 3rd November, 2017 and Harrowby Lane Methodist Church, Grantham on 5th November, 2017.  The Choir and Musicians came from the local area and 50 plus people came to each performance.

Janet (our musical director) who also wrote the choral arrangements has said the musical has great songs and a powerful message and will be exciting and fun to sing!

As soon as possible we will put the vocal score on this website and it will be freely available to download, as is the score of The Jesus Story, Richard’s earlier musical.

A CD of Peter – The Rock is now available from Sylvia and Richard, please email us on sylviariceoxley@gmail.com price £5 plus £1 postage and packing.

Comments already received from folks listening to the CD are as follows:

very tuneful and lively

a wonderful work – music and words are so good and all brilliantly put together and performed

I realise how much it must have blessed the Choir and audience in November.  There are some memorable tunes and moments in the powerful story.

Sounds great and very enjoyable

We are grateful to Ian Thacker of Harrowby Lane Methodist Church for recording the performance there, and to Media Duplication Ltd who produced the CD.

Performances of Peter – The Rock

Peter – the Rock

will be performed by The St Hugh’s Singers on  Sunday May 26th 2019 at 3pm in St Hugh’s Church, Scunthorpe and on Wednesday May 29th, 2019, at 7.30pm in St Paul’s Church Scunthorpe.   Further details from duane.tow@ntlworld.com

 

Narration for Peter – The Rock

Introduction

WELCOME to Peter – The Rock! We hope that you will enjoy the musical.

You will hear the story of a man who was the leading apostle of Jesus Christ, yet in a spectacular fall from grace, denied all knowledge of him not once, but three times.

But that wasn’t the end. He was forgiven by Jesus, and took his place as a leader in the Early Church.

The life of St Peter is an encouragement to us all. Failure need not be final. If we fall, God can restore us too, and use us in his service.

Narration: Part 1

Peter! He was one of the first followers of Jesus Christ. He was a leader in the early Church and eventually a martyr. He was a man who reached the heights and plumbed the depths. He became the Rock on which Christ built his Church. This is the story of St Peter.

We know nothing at all about Peter’s childhood and growing up. We first meet him as an adult in the Gospels, when he was already married. He was a fisherman living on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. At that time, before he met Jesus, Peter was called Simon.

The bible tells us that it was Peter’s brother Andrew, who brought him to Jesus. Then there was probably a period of time when Peter got to know Jesus, before he made his decision to leave fishing and to give his life to following Him.

1 Follow follow

From the outset Peter was the leading apostle and their spokesman. He is always mentioned first by the gospel writers. Jesus appointed the Twelve Apostles to be with him, to proclaim the message, and to heal the sick. In these early days, Peter would have been mightily impressed by Jesus – the authority of his teaching, his compassion for those in need, his disregard for the stuffy, conventional attitudes of many religious leaders, and above all his extraordinary miracles of healing.

All of this had a profound effect on Peter. Our next song imagines him musing on his experience.

2 What sort of man?

Very early on Peter experienced the spiritual power of Jesus which touched him personally. His mother-in-law was ill with a fever. Let’s hear her tell the story…

3 The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law

A story in St Matthew’s gospel gives us an insight into Peter’s character. While the disciples were on a lake in a boat, Jesus walked towards them on the water. The other disciples were paralysed by fear, but Peter had the courage to get out of the boat and walk towards Jesus. However, seeing the strength of the wind, his courage failed him and he had to be rescued by Jesus.

Some time later Jesus wanted to see how much his apostles understood. He took them to Caesarea Philippi, a city far to the north and away from the crowds, where he put a vital question to them. Our next song tells us the question, Peter’s reply, and the response of Jesus.

4 Confession of faith

What happened next is quite a shock! It is clear that Peter’s understanding of who the Messiah was, fell short of the truth that was revealed by Jesus. Jesus told the disciples that he was going to suffer and die at the hands of the Jewish leaders. When Peter protested: ‘This mustn’t happen to you’, he received an immediate rebuke from Jesus. It seems that Peter still had a lot to learn!

Despite this, Jesus had sufficient confidence in his three closest disciples, Peter, James and John, to entrust them with a remarkable vision of his glory. Our next song ‘Jesus Shines!’ tells the story of the Transfiguration.

5 Jesus shines!

It is clear from the bible story that Peter didn’t find it easy to forgive! Our next humorous song is about forgiveness and teaches us all a lesson for life!

6 How many times?

After three years of ministry in Galilee, Jesus came to Jerusalem for the important Festival of the Passover, when the Jews celebrated their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. During the Last Supper, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to demonstrate humility. Because Peter thought so highly of Jesus, he impulsively refused to let this happen. Let’s see how that conversation went……

7 Footwashing at the Last Supper

Before the group of disciples walked over to the Mount of Olives, Jesus predicted Peter’s threefold denial, but also told him that his failure would not be the end of the story. When the Chief Priests’ men came to arrest Jesus, Peter showed his fierce loyalty by cutting off the ear of a slave of the High Priest. When Jesus rebuked him and healed the man, Peter fled with the other disciples. Our next song is a moving account of what followed.

8 Peter’s denial

After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Peter was in need of forgiveness. This happened on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, which was the place where Peter had first heard the call of Jesus. St John’s gospel recounts the painful and yet empowering encounter between the two of them. Our following two songs tell us this story and Peter’s reflection on the extraordinary change in his life – from despair to hope, from failure to a new commission as healer, evangelist and pastor.

9 Restoration

10 Peter’s song

When Jesus ascended to his Father in Heaven, the joy of the resurrection stayed with the disciples. We are told that they frequently visited the Temple and were full of praise for God. They may well have used the words of Psalm 100, which was sung by worshippers attending the Temple. We invite you to join in as we sing a setting of this psalm.

11 Sing to the Lord

Narration: Part 2

The Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament gives a vivid account of the life of the Early Church after Jesus had ascended into heaven.

Peter quickly assumed a leadership role. He instigated the election of Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot as an apostle. He was present with the other disciples on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended in wind and fire. Our next song describes four stories, two from the Old Testament and two from the New, when the Spirit of God had a transformational effect.

12 And God said

When the disciples received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they praised God so loudly that some people thought they were drunk. Peter addressed the crowd, pointing out that it was unlikely that they were drunk at nine o’clock in the morning! Instead this was a fulfilment of an Old Testament prophecy that God would pour out his Sprit on everyone. He went on to link the gift of the Holy Spirit with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

The crowd accepted their responsibility for handing over Jesus to the Romans and Peter reassured them that they could be forgiven, baptised and receive the Holy Spirit for themselves. Three thousand people accepted this offer and joined the Church. Listen to the words of the next song and you will discover how important the Spirit of God is in the lives of Christians.

13 The Spirit of God

The day of Pentecost was followed by a time of great joy, when the believers shared their goods, met together for fellowship and prayer and witnessed miracles being performed by the apostles. Our next song describes one of these miracles and the opposition of the religious leaders.

14 There’s no other name

The religious leaders forbade Peter and John to speak about Jesus, but they continued to do so despite being put into prison and receiving a flogging. Stephen, one of the newly appointed leaders in the Early Church, was stoned to death. This was followed by a more general persecution, which led to many believers leaving Jerusalem.

The Gospel was preached in Samaria and many responded. The Church in Jerusalem sent Peter and John to Samaria. They laid hands on the new believers who then received the Holy Spirit.

While staying in the coastal town of Joppa, Peter had a life-changing experience. He came to see that the Gentiles, whom Jews considered unclean, were welcomed by God when they turned to Christ. Let’s hear this story of Peter’s encounter with a Roman soldier, Cornelius.

15 Cornelius

The persecution of the Church continued with King Herod having James, the brother of John, executed. Peter was arrested and thrown into jail. In our next song Peter tells the disciples how he was miraculously rescued.

16 Rescue from prison

Having originally restricted their preaching to Jews, Church leaders gradually won more and more converts among people of other races. But some Jewish Christians taught these gentile believers that they needed to keep the whole of the Jewish law as well as following Christ. Even Peter, who had been mixing freely with these Gentile Christians, withdrew his fellowship from them. Saint Paul, who had seen many people of other races come to faith, roundly rebuked him for this.

A meeting of the Church was called in Jerusalem to resolve the issue and Peter was a key witness. He told them about the conversion of Cornelius and urged the acceptance of gentiles as they were. The decision was made only to expect a few basic tenets of the Jewish Law to be kept.

Our next song expresses the spirit of reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles which Peter promoted. Throughout the ages, Christ has broken down the barriers between people of different races and backgrounds.

17 A time to build

Peter seemed to have a special concern for the Christians of Asia Minor, modern day Turkey. In a letter to them, he encouraged them to persevere in their faith, building their lives on the foundation stone of Jesus. These words are an invitation to us today.

18 Come to the Lord

It seems that the Christians in Asia Minor were experiencing persecution for their faith. The same is still happening in many countries across the world. It can be dangerous to worship Christ as Lord. Our next song suggests how we might respond when our faith is tested: ‘Your faith is precious, more precious than gold. When it is tested, rejoice and be bold’. What an encouragement and challenge.

19 Faith Tested

Peter’s letter to the Christians of Asia Minor was almost certainly sent from Rome where the Apostle’s life ended. He probably died a martyr and there are strong historical reasons to believe that his tomb in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, is authentic.

How do we sum up this man? Well, dull, he wasn’t! He was passionate, loyal, impulsive and human like us. We can take heart from Peter’s experience. Failure need not be final. God’s grace can triumph over human weakness. Peter denied Jesus three times, but after Pentecost his witness to the risen Christ was outstanding and he became the rock on which Christ built his Church. Today 2000 years later we can all be on the Kingdom Road.

20 Kingdom Road

21 Singing for Jesus

The Songs – bible references and more

Peter – the Rock is a follow-up to The Jesus Story. Janet, our Musical Director, said to me You’ll have to write something about Pentecost (the coming of the Holy Spirit). I thought that the life of Peter would fit the bill. I already had two songs from The Jesus Story: Follow, Follow and Peter’s Denial. Other songs written a while back, like The Spirit of God and Kingdom Road fitted in as they were. For some new songs, like What sort of Man? Confession of Faith and Peter’s Song, I used existing tunes. Then, a number needed to be written specially for the musical. These include How Many times? There’s no other Name and Rescue from Prison.

Follow, Follow – based on Matthew 4:18-20.  This song, which concluded The Jesus Story, was originally written for young people during my time as Youth Adviser for the Church Mission Society in the 1970s, and continue to be an inspiration for Christians today.

What sort of Man? based on various passages in the Gospels.  This song attempts to explain why Peter and the other Disciples were so impressed by the personality of Jesus.

The Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-law based on Mark 1:30-31.  This story of Peter’s mother-in-law being healed by Jesus and getting up to feed them is told in all three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Confession of Faith based on Matthew 16:13-19.  New words for a tune originally written for a song expressing my faith during a testing time in my ministry.

Jesus Shines! based on Luke 9:28-36.  The words in Psalm 50 verse 2: God shines forth! jumped out at me and inspired this song about the Transfiguration of Jesus, when the glory of God enveloped Jesus and shone forth!

How many times? based on Matthew 18:21-22.  The humour of Christ is seen in many passages of the Gospels, however in this song I have created the humour!  I hope you will also see the serious side of the message Jesus gives here.

Foot washing at The Last Supper: based on Luke 22:24-27 and John 13:1-17.  Peter wasn’t ready to accept the Servanthood of Christ.  Followers of Jesus need to understand and accept that Christ the Saviour both serves us and encourages us to serve others.

Peter’s Denial: based on Matthew 26:69-75 and Luke 22:61-62. This account appears in all four Gospels and shows that Peter would never gloss over this humiliating episode in his life.

Restoration: based on John 21:15-19 (NRSV).  It is essential that we know that Peter found a new life as he was forgiven by the risen Christ, and this is why this song is included in the musical.

Peter’s Song: based on Luke 22:62, John 20:1-2 and John 21:1-19.  This song expresses the feelings of Peter after he had been forgiven by Jesus.  It shows both the depression that failure can bring and the elation of being healed and forgiven.

Sing to the Lord: based on Psalm 100 (GNB).  The psalms were written centuries before the birth of Jesus and still inspire our worship today.

And God said: based on Genesis 1:1-3, Ezekiel 37:1-14, Luke 1:26-38 and Acts 2:1-11.  This song, which includes a verse about the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost shows us that God is not passive but may intervene for the good of his people.

The Spirit of God: based on Acts 2:1-3, Luke 12:11-12, John 14:25 and John 15:26, and Romans 8:26-27.  This song shows us the range of the Holy Spirit’s ministry amongst us today.

There’s no other name: based on Acts 3:1-16 and Acts 4:1-12.  Only after I had finished writing this song did I realise that the chorus is indebted to the song There’ll always be an England so many thanks to the author!

Cornelius: based on Acts 10:1-48. Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, thinks this incident is so important that he repeats it in chapter 11.  It was a watershed moment for Peter when God made it quite clear that the Gospel of Christ was for all people.

Rescue from Prison: based on Acts 12:1-19.  I find the picture of Peter left outside the door quite amusing and hence the emphasis in the song: I was knock, knock knocking.

A time to build: based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and Ephesians 2:11-18.  This song was originally written for a Church Mission Society project in the 1970s called A Time to Build.  It aimed to support youth centres in Sudan and Northern Ireland.  Both countries were undergoing civil disturbance at the time.  Today things are much better in Northern Ireland, though sadly South Sudan is still suffering.

Come to the Lord: based on 1 Peter 2:4-5 and verse 9 (GNB).  This song was first written for a song competition organised by the publishers of The British Version of the Good News Bible completed in 1976.  It didn’t win but the song remains one of my favourites.

Faith Tested: based on 1 Peter 1:6-7. A song for the persecuted church which also brings challenge and comfort to us in our more stable environment.

Kingdom Road: based on various New Testament passages.  The song was originally written as the theme song for a Church Mission Society Conference in Newcastle called A1M.  After the conference the A1M chorus became redundant so the words were changed to kingdom Road.  I hope you find this an uplifting and challenging song for us all.

Singing for Jesus: based on various New Testament passages.  This song which is a joyful celebration of our faith in Christ was originally written for young people in Eastwood Parish Church where I was a curate in the 1970s.

(GNB is the translation of the bible called The Good News Bible)

(NRSV is the translation of the bible called The New Revised Standard Version)

The following was written for children:

Peter:

My name is Peter. I am a friend of Jesus. It was very exciting to go with him as he went around Galilee teaching and healing and helping people.

As time went on, I realised that Jesus was special, different from anyone I had ever met. One day he asked us if we knew who he was. God put a thought in my head and I said ‘You are the son of the Living God’. Jesus was delighted that he had been known for who he was. He told me ‘You are Peter the rock, and on this rock I will build my church.’

When we reached Jerusalem, we had an evening meal together. Jesus was sad because he knew someone would hand him over to the people who hated him. He said that all of his friends would leave him. This made me angry. ‘I won’t leave you’ I said. Jesus replied ‘Before the cock crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.’

Later that night, the rulers arrested Jesus. I ran away but came back in the dark near to where they took Jesus. A woman saw me and said ‘You are a friend of Jesus’. She said this three times and three times I said I didn’t know him. I was afraid that the rulers might hurt me if they found out the truth.

Suddenly, I saw Jesus. He was looking straight at me with such pain and sorrow in his eyes. I ran off and started to cry. I cried and cried because I had let my best friend down so badly.

As you know they put Jesus on a cross to die. It was horrible. I thought that was the end. I thought I had lost my best friend and I thought I would never ever feel good about myself again.

But I was wrong. Jesus died on a Friday, Good Friday as it is now called because so much good came out of it. We didn’t know that then and on Sunday morning my friend John and I were still feeling rotten. Suddenly Mary, another of Jesus’ friends arrived saying that they body of Jesus was gone from his tomb. John and I set off straight away. John runs faster than me. I was always a bit of a slow runner. He got to the tomb first but stopped outside. I caught him up and went straight in. No body, only the grave clothes. What a shock!

Later that same day, we were all together. Suddenly Jesus appeared as if from nowhere. It wasn’t a ghost. He showed us his hands which had been nailed to the cross. Our friend was really alive again!

That was great, but I still felt bad about letting my friend down. Would Jesus forgive me? Yes he did. More than that, he wanted me to be a leader, helping the church to spread the good news. The promise he made to me was right.

So now, I go everywhere telling people about Jesus – how, because of his death on the cross, evil had been defeated and the bad things in our lives taken away. I tell people that Jesus is alive and however hard our life may be he is always with us, now and forever.