If you’re not already getting The Merry Mystic, I’d like to convince you to sign up.
I wish I could offer you a really compelling freebie here—you know, one of those life-changing how-to offers: how to attract wealth, how to get into heaven, how to lose ten pounds overnight. But, alas, I can’t promise that The Merry Mystic will change your life. What will happen when you sign up is that you’ll receive a short video with some of my best work every week. There’s music and story; there’s food for thought, for prayer, and for laughter. If you’re a progressive spiritual seeker, whether or not you’re a Christian like me, I think you’ll find these worth your while.
The Merry Mystic is free, and it always will be. It comes with a password to my Free Stuff area, which includes lots of my free sheet music and other resources. You can unsubscribe any time you like. I hope you’ll give it a try by entering your email address in the form on this page.
If you need more convincing, read some of The Merry Mystic‘s recent posts below. And best blessings on your journey, wherever it takes you.
This past month, my spiritual practice has been shot to hell. Oh, I’ve prayed frequently—but briefly and distractedly. Have you ever just sat in the presence of God, or just taken a walk in God’s company, and wholly escaped the passage of time? Have you ever surfaced from deep reverie to notice—how odd!—that the sun has set, or the sun has risen? I have, but not this month!
In fact, I’m embarrassed to confess that my life right now is just totally berserk with work. I’m helping put on a play this month, as performer, accompanist, lighting and sound designer, you name it. And I’m preparing to start a new job, and to move my extended family next month. It seems to be one of those seasons when there just aren’t enough hours in every day.
Anyway, there certainly weren’t enough hours to squeeze out any new work for The Merry Mystic this week! Instead, I took some comfort today in listening to this old song of mine. This was The Merry Mystic in May of 2016. I hope you’ll find this re-run as comforting as I did.
May you be blessed today with deep peace: the deep peace of the running wave, the deep peace of the flowing air, the deep peace of the quiet earth, the deep peace of the shining stars—the deep peace of the Prince of Peace.
A Hymn Celebrating Those who Help Hope into the World
In the legend of Moses’ birth (Exodus 1:15-2:10), there are two official midwives: Shiphrah and Puah. Then there are three other women who, in their different ways, also help bring hope into the world: Moses’ birth mother, his sister, and his adoptive mother. Here’s a new hymn celebrating their work, and the work of all midwives everywhere.
I don’t want to alienate my politically conservative friends, God bless ‘em. And I’m a bit embarrassed to add any more political ranting to our overheated national discourse. But I do want to be honest in sharing my work here.
So here’s fair warning: if you’re tired of political rants, you might want to skip this one. Because it’s a song addressed to President Trump. It’s called, “Tired of You.”
P.S. This YouTube video is mostly a still image over the music, with only a little performance video at the end. If you’d just like the music, here it is:
P.P.S. I really had to work to edit this song down to a manageable length. There were, initially, a lot more words. Because I know words. I have the best words….
Hello, friends! This week, I’ve been aware of a number of really bland church slogans. For example:
“Everyone welcome”—as if there were any church in the world that didn’t make that claim.
“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity”—as if that settled anything. (That epigram goes back to 1617, when Marco Antonio de Dominis, an archbishop of the Roman Catholic church, wrote, “in necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.”)
“Jesus loves you”—not a bad claim in itself, but often used as a launching pad for cruelty. As in, “Jesus loves you, so it’s too bad you’re gay and going to hell.” I wonder whether the love of Jesus wasn’t being pronounced over the body of Marco Antonio de Dominis, while it was being exhumed, dragged through the streets, and burned for heresy, along with all his works.
Anyway: I’ve invented some slogans for an advertising campaign for progressive Christianity. I’m looking for something less anodyne than the usual stuff—something with a Merry-Mystical touch of irreverent humor. It would help me if you’d take just a minute to read my suggested slogans here, and vote on your favorite. There’s also a place to suggest a slogan of your own.
Today I’m thinking of an old poem: “Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment,” written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1797. I’m also thinking of an even older poem: the Book of Revelation.
(Perhaps I should apologize to those whom the title of this post fooled into expecting a clip from “Xanadu,” the 1980 roller-disco movie featuring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly. But I’ll try to do something with that movie next week!)
In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a guest missive from my own dear father, Howard Webber. On this rainy morning in Holderness, New Hampshire, he offered some affirmation for me, and some wise words for fathers everywhere.
(Incidentally, I asked my mother to do a guest missive too. She only laughed and said, “That’ll be the day!”)
I’m in Holderness, NH, enjoying some vacation time with my family. (There’s a big motorcycle rally going on this week in nearby Laconia—that accounts for the background noise in the video!) In between naps and family excursions, I’ve been thinking about a question this week, and I’d really like your help with it.
Please leave a comment and help me wrestle with this question. Suppose there were a church assembly where you could honestly say to people, in every minute they spent with you, yes, this is the best, the brightest, the most rewarding thing we could be doing together right now. What would that look like?