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Worship Materials: Birth

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

 
THEME                   The Earthy Miracle

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. Birth is a miracle but not magic.
  2. To relive our birth is a challenging, awesome and therapeutic experience.
  3. With such complex origins how could I possibly imagine that I am simply an ordinary person.
  4. If I pretend that I am superior to other human beings then I am denying the reality of our common heritage.
  5. Above all else I am a human being and a child of God. Neither of these facts can be eradicated by the morality or immorality of my actions but they can deny or release my potential.
  6. My first womb was not of my choosing but I can choose how to view it and my greater womb (the Cosmos).
  7. All the children of the light come from the darkness of the womb.
  8. To regard another human being as inferior because their skin color is different is to deny our common origins in the dark nurturing of our mother’s womb.
  9. The darkness and the mystery, mother all life. All our living is diminished if we deny their sacredness.
  10. All beginnings have within them the seeds of endings. The ageing process is locked into our genes at conception.
  11. From the biologically determined I came, to the ecologically determined I return, but in between I have a world of interior choice.
  12. Birth reaffirms the sacredness of blood and the generative power of pain.
  13. Birth and rebirth both involve a breaking of the waters.
  14. Baptism is a celebration of the water welling up from within. (John 4:14)

 

PRAYERS

  1. O God, of all bonding, as we reflect on our bonds with our parents, we acknowledge our ambivalence towards them – our fears and negativity as well as our love and admiration.
    Help us to establish more empowering relationships with our parents.
  1. O cosmic womb of God, O nurturing breasts of nature, may I honor your sustenance, delight in your enfolding and constantly emerge into new worlds of thought and action.
  2. O God of the vast array of nature’s reproductive processes, we thank you for all new birthings, but especially for our own birth.
    For all the complex motivation that brings two human being together to create new life,
    For our mother’s body that was our home at the start of life’s journey,
    For the labor and blood of birth and for all who nourished our microscopic beginnings into our first cry of life in the outside world, we give grateful thanks.
    Help us, O Mothering God, to rejoice in our parents’ strengths, to    forgive their weaknesses and to acknowledge that for better or for worse, they contributed irreversibly to a great deal of what we are as persons.
    May we also be thankful for that vast genetic river of which we are part – that stream of genes from ancestors known and unknown, which links us with all life on this planet.
    When we are tempted to think more highly of ourselves than we should, confront us with our common ancestry,
    and when we are tempted to deprecate our distinctiveness remind us of our genetic uniqueness and our distinctive formative environment.
    So, O God, we reverence our birth, honor our parents, remember our complex ancestry and pray that we may honor
    all the sacrifice and nurture that went into our formation as a human being.

 

HYMNS

As we gaze upon this baby.

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

Darkness is my mother.

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

At the start of life’s great journey.

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

The miracle of life. (STS2)

In mothers’ pain, in babies’ birth. (STS2)

Singing the Sacred Vol 2 2014 World Library Publications

REFRAIN

Holy is my birth and sacred is my mother.(BL)

 

POEM

I AM GLAD THAT I WAS NOT BORN OF A VIRGIN

I am glad that I was not born of a virgin ‑

I would like to think that my parents had some fun in creating me,

that I am the product of the intertwining of human flesh,

of loving embrace and ecstatic caressing;

that my oneness came from their oneness,

that I am not a celestial aberration

but an integral part of the sacred processes

of nature.

 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

Would it be profitable if I were to spend time collecting as much information about my birth as possible, seeking to answer the following questions:

What were my parents’ attitudes to sexuality?

What were the circumstances of my birth?

Was it a natural birth, or were there complications?

What was my father’s attitude to and involvement in the whole process?

What dreams did I have as a child about my birth?

If intercourse, conception and birth are sacred processes, how does the doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ fit into this way of thinking? If virginity is superior to all other forms of feminism, what does this say about our attitude to female sexuality and wholeness?

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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