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Worship Materials: Beginnings and Endings

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

 
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. Buried in every beginning is an ending.
  2. The exit from one world is the entry into another.
  3. To attempt to hold on to what has already gone is to live in a world of unreality.
  4. To be able to discern what can and what cannot be changed is an essential skill for achieving a manageable life style.
  5. All life-giving relationship is a form of love.
  6. Love is a mingling of life forces with a person, a cat, a dog, a tree, the land and supremely with God.
  7. Christ’s commandment to love your neighbor as yourself may be paraphrased ‘as you see and respect the divine in yourself, you will be able to see and respect the divine in other people’. Divinity is always undivided – you are in your neighbor and your neighbor is in you.
  8. Relationship gives us entry into a fuller reality than individuality can ever provide.
  9. When I look into your eyes I see the cosmic mists of divinity and the smile of Spring’s resurrection. When I look into your eyes I meet the deep places of my own spirit.
  10. None of us are only attached to life through the umbilical cord of one relationship no matter how special it may be.

 

PRAYER

O beginning and ending God, the process by which all things are made new, enable us to let go of the past with grief and thankfulness, and to embrace the future’s possibilities with hope, with a sense of adventure and with the openness of love.

 

HYMNS  

We sing of human loving’s starting point. (BL)

You are the process, God. (BL)

 

There shall be life and love.

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

Everything has its own season.(Ecclesiastes 3/1-8)

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

Past and Present.

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

God molds the shapes of life.

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

As we give we shall receive.

Singing the Sacred Vol 1 2011 World Library Publications


REFRAIN

In the letting go. (BL)


POEMS / REFLECTIONS

A CELEBRATION OF LOVE

I have had

many beautiful encounters with love

in my life –

Sometimes it has been the love of nature – the soft lines,

strong trunks

and the mossy smell of bush.

Sometimes has been

the tenderness of another person – a oneness in relationship,

shared silence,

the mingling of tears,

the fragile flower of romance.

Sometimes love has been

a passion for justice,

the fight for equality,

a concern for others,

grief at the Church’s divisions, anger at its petty-mindedness.

Sometimes love has been parenting

of child and adult, of others and self, of nature and ideas.

Sometimes love has been creating

words and music, color and form, line and texture, buildings and gardens,

one’s own kind

and one’s own life.

Sometimes love has been pain and sorrow,

sometimes dream and fulfillment,

sometimes tearful ecstasy,

sometimes common sense practicality,

But at all times

love has nurtured me,

enlivened me,

fulfilled me,

wooed me

and drawn me on into the oneness of God,

divine lover,

creator,

liberator,

never-dying life,

the source of all our loving.

And now

in the knowledge

that no love is ever wasted

and that all love

becomes part of God’s love,

I thankfully celebrate

all the loving that God

has graciously allowed me to partake,

create,

or enhance.

 

IN THE PAST

In the past

I struggled unsuccessfully

To pattern life’s diverse pieces.

Now I find coherence

In the mystery

Of encounter.

 

REFLECTION ON 1 CORINTHIANS 13:8-13

Love is eternal, the life-force is eternal and the life-force is God. There

are temporary manifestations of the life-force but they

will pass away. Three things however, will last for ever ‑

faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love.

Believe in the loving life-force ‑

Dream of the loving life-force ‑

But beyond our believing and dreaming there is the life-force itself.

Trust that life-force ‑

Connect with that life-force ‑

Live out that life-force.

‘For the life we live is fire

And the way is wonder-filled

For those who gently dance

Within the sphere of love.’

 

REBIRTH

In love

as in life lie the seeds

of death;

yet to be a person

I must not fear

death,

for out of death

springs

new life.

 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

If there is a right time to do any particular action as suggested in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and it is laid down in stone in a set of absolute metaphysical principles how is one supposed to act in a situation in which two principles such as those contained in the ten commandments appear to conflict? For example, ‘thou shalt not kill’ and also ‘thou shalt not bear false witness’ are in conflict when telling the truth endangers someone else’s life. The determination of what is the right time should, I believe, be governed by the golden rule of Jesus to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. What is required is a situational ethic in which compassion is the primary motivation. With the death of the ‘Mythic God’ and the demise of absolute ‘metaphysical laws in the sky’ perhaps it is time to seek to be guided by the laws of the Cosmic Processes in the most advanced manifestation of them within the evolutionary process. (see the hymn “We sing of human loving’s starting point”) What is your reaction to all this?

Note: Also see the paraphrase of the ten commandments in “Which code can assist us?

Celebrating Mystery Logo

LOGO NOTE: At the heart of the mystery all the separate boxes disappear and all is one, all is love.

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

 

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