Worship Materials: Ascension

From the Festive Worship collection

THEME             New Awareness – The Unity of the Familiar and the Unknown

 

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. In the beyond lies the everywhere, in the within dwells our heaven.
  2. The only heaven God lives in is the heaven that is everywhere; for God is not limited to any time or space, but is present in all equally.
  3. We become aware of God at particular times and in particular spaces, but when we seek to limit God to that time or space we become idolatrous, whether it is an event in history, a current experience, a holy book, a religious ceremony, a form of organization or a set of beliefs.
  4. God in us is glory, is heaven; for when we focus on the Christ within, we become aware that we are one with all things and that this unity is heaven, this unity is bliss.
  5. If we only seek light we will only experience the surface; for God dwells in the darkness of the mystery and the cloud of unknowing.
  6. The challenge is to grow beyond preoccupation with moralistic  legalism to the point of discernment of divinity.
  7. It is in ceasing to cling to a particular manifestation of divinity that we can become aware of divinity everywhere.
  8. Each time an image of God dies there is the potential for an expanded vision of divinity.

 

PRAYER

O Jesus Christ, who rose above the limitations of our everyday living to be present everywhere at all times, help us to discern you not only in the historic Jesus but in all bread and all wine, in all flesh and all blood, so that our whole life may become one great prayer of thanksgiving.

 

HYMNS

The darkness and the light. (BL)

You are the process, God. (BL)

 

There shall be life and love. (BL NZ METH)

www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/boundlesslife

Rise O my heart, unfold your wings and fly.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

You do not need to come O God.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

Come let us dwell in that place of great wonder.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

Deep within me.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

 

Buried in my being.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

In the first stage of seeking. (stages of spiritual growth)

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

Have you not thought. SE/MU)

 

POEMS / REFLECTIONS

GOLDEN INCANDESCENCE

Beyond the temples of correctness

my spirit journeys

to imagination’s unfenced fields

where boundaries dance the circle

and horizon is now.

At the point

of the marriage

of childhood’s fire and water

and the merging of

the motionless sea’s

unending rhythm

beginning becomes an ending

and interwovenness

new birth.

Yin

is as yang,

reason nurtures the dreams

and intuition unbars

syllogistic bondage as

Artist, Sage and Clown

intermingle

in the

abandoning dance

and my ‘I am’

becomes part

of the shadows

at the molten heart

of the flame.

 

TWO WORLDS OR ONE?

It used to be commonplace to speak of two worlds – a physical world and a spiritual world, a natural and a supernatural world. In fact there is only one world but two states of awareness. We can choose to limit our perception to viewing life as “a weary soiled earth” or perhaps to see it only in terms of the market place. Alternatively, we can acknowledge that we are surrounded by heaven and that the divine is everywhere and in all things – even in some aspects of the market place!

 

DEPARTURE AND RETURN

(A Recurrent Element of Pilgrimage)

Leaving behind a dependency on a literal interpretation of the Bible and ­

Returning to the amazing power of the symbolic,

Leaving behind a dependency upon an intervening God and

Returning to the liberation of empowerment,

Leaving behind dependency upon another person or organization to make us wise and

Returning to the wisdom that is within us and all human beings,

Leaving behind legalistic morality and

Returning to the complexity of human relationships which only love can understand,

Leaving behind an exclusively male God and

Returning to the life fulfilling inclusiveness of a God who is both female and male,

Leaving behind a God who is localized and

Returning to a God who is everywhere,

Leaving behind the puzzle and

Returning to the mystery.

O departing and returning God,

I place my trust in you

For you are my wondrous,

itinerant,

home.

 

AWARENESS

Let the inner and the outer worlds be as one,

Let all the opposites dance together,

Let the mind reflect nature’s interweaving,

Let the heart know divinity within,

Let the logicians experience rapture

and the ecstatics value discipline,

Let the rich find liberation from possessions

and the poor liberation from oppression,

Let the child respect the adult

and the adult the inner child,

Let the image reflect the imageless mystery

and the mystery be perceived in all things,

Let joy be the way

and love its celebration.

 


 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

If we cease to cling firmly to a particular manifestation of divinity, a particular means of grace, then our faith in the mystery will grow. We will then be able to return to these particular manifestations with a sense of lightness, humor and delight instead of a life-denying intensity.

Could my spirituality become much more of a dance of sacred lightness?

 

Text and image © William Livingstone Wallace but available for free use.

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