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Free Stuff

My sheet music and other free resources are available here. Just follow this link, and enter your Merry Mystic password when requested.

These things are under a Creative Commons license that allows you to download them and copy them freely—for any non-commercial use.

Enjoy!

Store

I have books, CDs, and a video series for sale from my store page. (I wish I could just give everything away, but one must eat!)

I’m especially excited about my new book, now available: My Burden Is Light: A Pastor’s Plea for Rationality, Honesty, and Humility.

About

 Adam Brooks Webber
Adam Brooks Webber
When I was a boy, I couldn’t wait to grow up so that I could A) move away from small-town Illinois and B) stop going to church. Consequently, I am now a pastor in a small town in Illinois.

Merry, Mystical Missives

Here you’ll find everything I’ve sent out to the mailing list for The Merry Mystic.

You Loved Your Life, and You Let It Go

I wrote a new hymn for the second Sunday in Lent. (It goes with my sermon, “To Let It Go“.)

There’s this paradoxical teaching from the Jesus tradition. It appears six times in the gospels (Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, Matthew 16:25, Luke 17:33, Matthew 10:39, and John 12:25) possibly from three independent sources (Mark, John, and Q). Luke 17:33 puts it this way: “Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.” I think that’s one of the many things Jesus not only taught, but also demonstrated in his life.

These are the words of the hymn:

You Loved Your Life, and You Let It Go

You lived and laughed; you loved to be
At table with high and low.
Sharing our lives, and helping us see,
Teaching us truth, setting us free.
You loved your life, and you let it go.

Answering pain, answering thirst,
You let your fair fountain flow.
We were enslaved, oppressed and coerced;
You gave us hope: last shall be first!
You loved your life, and you let it go.

In word and deed you made it plain,
The way that the wise should know:
Clinging to life is always in vain;
Letting it go, wins it again.
You loved your life, and you let it go.

Ever lament! Ever rejoice!
Let tears and let laughter flow!
Heaven and earth still ring with your voice,
Thanks to your love, thanks to your choice:
You loved your life, and you let it go.

As always, sheet music for “You Loved Your Life, and You Let It Go” is available in our Free Stuff Area. Also, you can see and hear it being sung for a church service here.

By |February 25, 2024|Categories: uncategorized|0 Comments

Surely You Know the Change I Need

I wrote a new hymn for the first Sunday in Lent. (It goes with my sermon, “Time for a Change“.)

Exhortations to change are a big part of the Christian tradition: change your heart, change your mind, change your life. Traditionally we’ve used the word repent for that; repent is the usual translation of Jesus’ exhortation in biblical Greek, μετανοεῖτε, which presumably was a translation of something Jesus said in Aramaic. But however we ended up with that word, I think it’s inadequate. Repent has all kinds of sorry associations: it’s what one does while sitting in sackcloth and ashes, overcome with remorse, perhaps punishing oneself for one’s misdeeds. And sometimes, yes, change begins with remorse—but not always.

These are the words of the hymn:

Surely You Know the Change I Need

Surely you know the change I need;
help me to know it too.
Free me of all my lethargy
and show me the path to you, to you,
and show me the path to you.

When I am wrong, oh help me feel
fully a right remorse.
Then help me leave remorse behind
and find me a better course, a course,
and find me a better course.

Mover of all, may I be moved,
cherishing every chance,
Ready to hear you say my name
and call me to join the dance, the dance,
and call me to join the dance.

Ready to fly, the wild goose waits,
ready to sprout, the seed.
So make me ready, God of life
for changes you know I need, I need,
for changes you know I need.

As always, sheet music for Surely You Know the Change I Need is available in our Free Stuff Area. Also, you can see and hear it being sung for a church service here.

By |February 19, 2024|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|0 Comments

These are the (mostly video) messages sent out to The Merry Mystic mailing list.

Sermons and Such

Every week, I preach in the Open Prairie United Church of Christ in Princeton, Illinois. I’m not sending most of these out to The Merry Mystic mailing list; but on the outside chance you’d like to see a sermon, here they are.

Youthful Visions

It makes me happy when children come to church. In this Pentecost reflection, I explain why. (The Pentecost story was dramatized by three voices before my reflection; here, I only repeat one verse of it.)

By |May 19, 2024|Categories: sermons|0 Comments

On Hitting Back Harder

Jesus taught something very challenging about how to respond to violence, and I talk about it in this sermon. This week, I also wrote a letter to the President (and others in Washington) about the current wave of student protests, and about the crisis in Israel and Gaza. I talk about that too.

By |May 5, 2024|Categories: sermons|0 Comments

The Sermon for Today

Sometimes, we pay so much attention to our own churchy customs that we neglect the way of Jesus. I used two “texts” for this sermon: Amos 5:21-24, and an episode of the Andy Griffith Show (season 4, episode 4: “The Sermon for Today”). The television clip is omitted here, for reasons of copyright, but it’s worth looking up!

By |April 21, 2024|Categories: sermons|0 Comments

Fish Sandwich

The author of the Gospel of Luke thought it was very important that Jesus appeared after the resurrection, not just as a vision but in the flesh. He also thought that, after the resurrection, Jesus gave the church a mission and the special authority to carry it out. I disagree.

By |April 14, 2024|Categories: sermons|0 Comments

Ride On

Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem was part of his work of standing against the rule of Rome and Rome’s collaborators—and standing instead for the divine rule of God.

By |March 24, 2024|Categories: sermons|0 Comments

Mindful Within and Without

The prophet Jeremiah longed for a day when we all could find God already written on our hearts. Mary Oliver would add this: that we can also find God already written in the natural world—the signature of the Creator in all creation.

By |March 17, 2024|Categories: sermons, uncategorized|0 Comments
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