Worship Materials: Change/Evolution/Choice

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

THEME      The Past and Future in the Present

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. Every apparently static order is but a temporary illusion.
  2. The illusion of the order and the reality of the chaos.
  3. The only ‘one way’ is the way of incessant creative change – the extinction of old ideas, the replacement of culture and the abandoning of outdated ideologies.
  4. Nothing has an end – there are only transformations.
  5. To be alive is to change, to be an enlivened person is to have changed often.
  6. Rejoice in what is rather than engaging in pointless longing for what might have been and let your rejoicing shape the future.
  7. As I attempted to pin the clouds to the sky, the moon moved.
  8. Why should we clutch at the straws of the past when the waters they are immersed in are the life-giving river of God?
  9. Life lies in the changes and what we make of them, rather than the absolutes and what they do to us.
  10. You cannot preserve the past by denying the present or refusing to face the future.
  11. The God whom we cannot control bursts into the midst of our ordered liturgies, our contrived formulations and our prejudicial moralisms.
  12. The whole Cosmos is in a constant state of change.  The belief that nothing is changing is an illusion of the human mind.
  13. We cannot change our past, but we can change the way we interpret it and thus redeem our individual and societal history.
  14. The essence of coping with change is the ability to let go.
  15. There is no such thing as “coincidence”.  All happenings are related in some manner.
  16. We honor the past by learning from it rather than uncritically clinging to it.
  17. “Never ask ‘O why were things so much better in the old days?’  It is not an intelligent question.” Ecc. 7:10.
  18. When we attempt to turn the pages of the music of life before the music has changed all we produce is an annoying rustle.
  19. Be gentle to your immaturities and they can melt away.  Be harsh to your frailties and they will calcify.
  20. As the chrysalis is to the butterfly so systems of thought are to the liberated spirit.
  21. The commitment to change is the transforming element in repentance.
  22. Freedom from guilt is a springboard for action
  23. The call of the past is to moderate,
    The call of the future is to activate,
    The call of the present is to incarnate.
  24. Nothing is static, nothing is unconnected.
  25. To truly encounter the past or the future you must meet them in the  present moment.
  26. One of the greatest challenges facing the church today is to develop a Christology (an interpretation of the life of Christ) which does not fall into the idolatry of limiting the action of God to one time and place.
  27. The past is limited to memory,
    the future limited to expectation
    but in the present there is eternity and ecstasy.
  28. In the universe of constant change without new life there is only death.
  29. The peace of God is being unafraid of change.
  30. The choice between life and death is the framework within which all other choices fall.
  31. One of our most important choices is to decide to face up to both the joyful and the painful realities of life.

 

PRAYERS

  1. O God of all life’s unfolding processes, whose love encompasses all that is, we place our trust in you. In so doing we not only find strength to cope with the changes life thrusts upon us, but also discover a sense of adventurous delight at being part of this world’s evolving future.
  2. O God of all wise decisions, help us to discern which changes will bring health and wholeness and which will lead to injustice, destruction and fragmentation.
  1. O Spirit of liberation, may we open our lives to your wild wind, that sharing your dream for the wholeness of creation, we may become wise, caring, passionate agents of change.

 

HYMNS                                

An awakening is beginning. (BL)

I am greater than my thinking. (BL)

God wake us from illusion. (BL)

We go forward and around. (BL)

Charge your hearts with wonder. (BL)

We need a cross. (BL)

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

All our dying shares a process. (BL)

When masks of God both age and die. (BL)

Beyond the boxes we create. (BL)

When I pray to you for help, O God. (BL)

To God the process. (BL)

You are the process God. (BL)

 

Come let us dwell in that place.

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

When the wall is broken.

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

Everything has its own season.

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

From Nazareth to Calvary. (STS1)

Live like Jesus in the moment. (STS1)

This planet is pregnant. (STS1)

Many people die in anguish. (STS1)

Give joyful praise and honor. (STS1)

Though rocks move. (STS2)

When Earth wakes from out of sleep. (STS2)

Singing the Sacred Vol 1 2011, Vol 2 2014 World Library Publications

 

SONG FOR TEENS

All those who choose the Way. (SYSJ)

 

POEMS / REFLECTIONS

IN THE TWILIGHT OF IMAGES

In the twilight of images

there is grief, aloneness and emptiness.

But the presence does not die

only the explanation,

the articulation,

the limitation.

It is like music without written notes

so we listen to the inner sound

without the distraction of the visual

yet hear the rhythm of the cosmic God

in all we see.

 

HORIZONS

As we look at the horizon,

the meeting of sea and sky,

the point of beyondness,

our mind turns to the night’s

merged horizon,

the space behind

where we can see;

and are reminded

that there are always

other horizons beyond

the one currently

in the centre of our attention.

 

A SENSE OF HISTORY

To have a sense of history is to see beyond all history

to that which is master of all time

yet present as servant in each moment;

to see beyond all human temples,

beyond all the Gothic windows and Corinthian columns,

all the frescoes,

all the sculptures,

all the dim light,

all the blazing color;

to see beyond all the thundering organs,

all the eloquent silences,

all the heavenly-voiced choirs,

all the intoned liturgies,

all the stiff-lipped solemnity,

all the passionate preaching,

all the enthusiastic outpourings;

to see beyond vested priests,

collared ministers and

business-suited pastors;

to see beyond all the bishops,

presbyters

and deacons,

beyond never-ending meetings,

resolutions

consultations,

clarifications,

definitions,

abstractions,

verbalisms;

even beyond all the caring, serving, protesting,

to see the One who is many,

the suffering One who brings joy,

the crucified One who brings life,

the timeless One who fills each moment,

the One who is heaven and earth

yet present in every smile, tear, touch,

every loving prayer, action and hope.

It is this One who brings laughter, perspective,

hope, analysis,

faith, justice and love,

this One who takes a dead past, a mechanical present,

a dreamlike future

and breathes new life

into them all.

 

 PROPHETIC IVY

The colonial cottaged,

borer infested,

rodent nibbled,

news covered,

walls of my mind

bend, groan and crack

under the persistent advance

of prophetic ivy

recycling dead systems

and irrelevant abstractions.

 

PRESENT

We are more than our past,

We are more than our future,

We are the present of inter-connectedness,

of shared divinity,

and resplendent oneness.

 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

  1. We used to think of all things, including human beings, as having a beginning, a steady state, and an end time.  Now we are starting to think of things as having no beginning, exhibiting a changing state of being and not having an ending.  In other words adopting a dynamic world view instead of a static one.  What effect does this way of thinking have on traditional Christian beliefs?  How can they be rephrased so as to be compatible with this world-view, e.g. what could we say in place of ‘world without end’?
  1. Does the death of some images of God mean the death of God?  Could I adopt a more playful attitude to images of God, juggling them, exposing them to the full force of my creativity?  Could I view this time of symbolic uncertainty as an opportunity to embark upon a journey into the nothingness, i.e. a mind completely emptied of images, yet still able to discern the presence of God, for as the poem ‘In the twilight of Images’ says “the presence does not die only the explanation, the articulation, the limitation?”

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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