Jingle Bell Dox

A Merry and Mystical, Doxological Take on "Jingle Bells"

What could be more joyful, and therefore more God-ful, than Jingle Bells? And then, why can’t we sing it in church? Perhaps a few new verses would help …

Here’s the original first verse, along with my two doxological verses:

Jingle Bell Dox

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
     a sleighing song tonight!

The sleigh that glides along,
The horse that knows the way,
The harmony of song,
The snow inviting play,
The spirits growing bright,
The laughter and the fun,
They shine the light and fill the night 
     with praises of the One!

The sleigh is gliding God,
The horse is snorting God,
The fields are growing God,
The bells are ringing God,
The snow is drifting God,
The speed is thrilling God,
And yes, this moldy, golden oldy 
     song is singing God!

Samhain Song

A Merry and Mystical Message for Halloween

Samhain is the old Gaelic festival that lies behind many of our modern Halloween customs. In this video, I talk a little about Samhain, and I share a new song about it.

Here’s the text of that song. (It’s actually from the last chapter of the fantasy romance I’m working on, The Pastor and the Priestess.)

Samhain Song

The anxious fear, the fevered dream,
The ghostly moan, the primal scream,
The cold that grips us in the night --
The dance around the fire’s light,
To banish fear from hill and dale.
   For love can see beyond the veil,
   And glimpse, behind the graven gloom,
   A hidden heat, a hopeful beat,
   The fertile darkness of the womb.

The foolish, haunted, hating heart,
That tries to tear the world apart,
And plans and plots to bitter ends --
The circled power of our friends,
That over evil will prevail.
   For love can see beyond the veil,
   And glimpse, behind the graven gloom,
   A hidden heat, a hopeful beat,
   The fertile darkness of the womb.

The doubt that steals away the will,
The gloomy fears that self-fulfill,
The wariness to take a chance --
The spirit pleading, Come and dance,
And never be afraid to fail.
   For love can see beyond the veil,
   And glimpse, behind the graven gloom,
   A hidden heat, a hopeful beat,
   The fertile darkness of the womb.

The memory of days gone by,
The falling tear, the heavy sigh,
The burden of the loss we bear --
The new adventure waiting there,
Where love-light leads us down the trail.
   For love can see beyond the veil,
   And glimpse, behind the graven gloom,
   A hidden heat, a hopeful beat,
   The fertile darkness of the womb!

Longing for the Deep Peace

A Merry Mystical Re-Run

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.

Midwives of Hope

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.

Sheet music for “Midwives of Hope” is in our Free Stuff area.

Come To Me

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.

Often, Often, Often

The Merry Mystic on Surprise and Hospitality

In this edition of The Merry Mystic, I sing a song about two things God really seems to love: surprise and hospitality. And, hey, it turns out that they’re not unrelated. You can’t really welcome strangers without being open to learning something surprising from them.