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Worship Materials: Human Relationships, Endings

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

 
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. Nothing lasts forever in the same form.
  2. To feel that one cannot let go of another person is to experience possessiveness rather than love.
  3. Love is not ownership. Seek to capture love and all you catch is the cold of manipulation.
  4. Relationships cannot be preprogrammed.
  5. Rather than apportioning blame for the collapse of a relationship it is better to concentrate on what we can learn from it.
  6. Because one relationship has collapsed it does not mean that I am unlovable.
  7. To search for love outside ourselves without having found it within, is a sure recipe for a continuing sequence of failed relationships.
  8. Beware of attraction to your opposite, unless you have come to terms with that same opposite within your own personality. That which we fear can so easily become that which we hate.
  9. Either we learn to control our fears, guilt and resentment or they will control us.
  10. If we are not careful, the ending of a relationship can lead to
    enormous guilt and resentment.

 

PRAYERS

  1. O God, the alpha and the omega, help us to see beyond the pain of separation to the wider vision of all things holding together in your love. May we not become obsessed by grief but instead use it to allow the process of letting go be accomplished in a life-giving manner.
  2. God of love, in whom there is no guilt or resentment, may we take time to nurture our self esteem and thus be able to let go of all guilt and resentment which may arise within the process of separation.

 

HYMNS

Is love a grand illusion? (BL)

When we feel all weighed down with guilt. (BL)

At each journey’s ending point. (BL)

 

All will be well.

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

No one takes my life away.

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

How many times must I forgive? (STS2)

Through the love of God our Father. (STS2)

If my heart grows icy cold. (STS2)

Singing the Sacred Vol 2 2014 World Library Publications

 

REFRAIN

In the letting go. (BL)

 

POEMS / REFLECTIONS

SEPARATION

Now that memories occupy

the place

where people

so recently lived

and the house

stands

silently inactive

my mind is full

of failure and remorse,

rejection and grieving

at the parting

and breaking

of relationships and

of familiar

patterns

of peace and anxiety,

despair and hope –

patterns

which sometimes

enabled

and sometimes

irritated

but all of which

constituted

that familiar world of belonging

without which

I am

desolate.

Yet

in the tear-drenched solitude

I find a unity

with the living and the dead,

and reaching out

touch the hands

of the One

who grieves

for me

even more

than I grieve

for myself,

the crucified One

who holds together

all that is.

 

PARKED MEMORIES

As if to reincarnate

youth

I returned

to that park

where

the crush of memories

almost immobilized

and allowed

my mind

to fondle

every tree

gazed at in wonder,

sheltered beneath with

thankfulness

and lain under in ecstacy.

Here I had watched

young lovers

and been watched by joy’s

vicarious

prospectors.

Here, miraculously,

love’s delight

expanded

to fill eternity.

But soon

and for long after,

remembered heaven

was immersed in brokenness

of unfulfilled love

and the trees

with sadness

looked down

on the place

where romance

died.

Now,

through the alchemy

of forgiveness

and the medication of time

those dazzling memories

evoke hope

of transformed futures

illuminated

by new visions

of God’s

costly

embodied

love.

 

BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES

Once I was uncertain

what to do

with memories

of beautiful love.

I tried to keep them

in the past

but they were timeless

and kept rushing

into my present.

Now I have given up

attempting to exorcise them.

Instead I celebrate

and make them part

of the ageless now

that is the presence

of God.

 

MISTAKE?

Someone

must have made

a mistake

when they made

my heart

for it is

too easily broken

and this time

I cannot find

all the pieces –

so it will never be

the same shape

again.

 

WE HAVE CLIMBED THE SAME MOUNTAIN

We have climbed the same mountain,

touched the same tree,

followed the same river,

danced the same dance,

sung the same song,

shared the same agonies

and the same ecstasies.

Each of us will always carry

something of the other

in our own heart

for we are part

of each other.

 

IN A PERFECT WORLD.

In a perfect world

Things would always get better

Instead of worse –

We would all let go of

Past animosities,

Past hurts,

Past failures

And move on.

Sadly, that is not the way of the world.

Some are never willing to forgive

Burying their hatred

And letting it eat away at

Their bodies and spirits.

Some will not allow themselves

To change gears

From romance

Or animosity

To friendship.

Some, for better or for worse,

Have just moved to a different

Geographical, psychological or spiritual space

And the connectedness withers.

O God help me to let people walk the path of their own choosing.

Then, instead of dwelling in the illusory world of my own longing,

I will seek to nurture all that you graciously

Present to me

In this pregnant, present moment.

 

THE TREE MAY HAVE TOPPLED

The tree may have toppled

But the stump remains

As mute evidence

Of family history’s

Existence

And that stump shall

Persist

As long as

Genetic identity

And the oneness of life

Is honored.

 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

  1. Do I have someone in my life who is ‘dearer to me than life itself’? If I have then perhaps I need to remind myself that no human being is greater than life. What measures could I take to love life more and expand my life outside of that relationship?

 

  1. The ending of a relationship provides a wonderful, if painful, opportunity to affirm that we are greater than our thoughts and our emotions. Asserting the supremacy of the “I AM” within us we can center our mind and begin to practice new ways of thinking.

 

  1. At the ending of a relationship there could be a joint act of letting go, of sharing of grief and of acknowledging the points of real value within it.

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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