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.
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?
Hello, friends! I’m releasing this edition of The Merry Mystic a little early, so you can have it for Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is a celebration of the Holy Spirit: a noise like a rushing wind, and tongues of fire, and speaking in tongues, and all that. And whenever I think of the Holy Spirit, I think of this beautiful little poem by A. A. Milne.
The Merry Mystic Celebrates the Sexy Ebullience of Creation
Spring is on my mind and in my heart this week. Trees are leafing out overnight, and foals and fawns are frolicking in the meadows. The sexy ebullience of creation is made manifest. It’s like a recapitulation of the seven-day creation story from Genesis. I picture God as calling all living things, both into existence and toward God’s self simultaneously. This call is a deep enchantment, a longing that is part of our incarnational being, a magnetism that draws us Godward.
That’s the idea of “Come To Me,” a song from my 2012 album As a Deer Longs. Without a band and a DJ, I can’t do this one live, so here it is as an MP3.
In case the lyric went by too fast, here it is in full:
Come To Me
I am ready now.
I have trained myself for this.
I summon you:
Come to me!
Bird of the air, I summon thee:
Flap your wings and come to me!
Beast of the earth, I summon thee:
Stomp your feet and come to me!
Fish of the sea, I summon thee:
Shake your fins and come to me!
I shine my light and draw you like a moth to a flame,
I sing the song and send the sound of saying your name.
I pull you to the edge and then I pull a little more,
I light the fuse and spread the news and open up your hidden door.
Now come to me!
I open up a path that you won’t find on the map,
I light the dark and make a spark that bridges your gap.
I dance before the altar and you feel the earth shake,
I touch you and your sun comes up and tells you that you’re wide awake.
Now come to me!
Fly me, whale me, stork me, quail me, hare me, snail me, come to me!
Bear me, bee me, mare me, flea me, manatee me, come to me!
Louse me, mouse me, goat me, stoat me, tick me, chick me, come to me!
Bat me, gnat me, frog me, rat me, dog me, cat me, come to me!
Come to me!
My Store page tells you how to buy that album, if you’d like to hear more.