Well it’s a short week this week. I know some of you are taking time off this week to rest, some of you have had a least Monday off, and many of you are trying to recover from the holiday rush. All of this makes for a quick week. I can’t believe we’re already at the close of Wednesday.
Don’t forget that many of us will be hanging out at the meetinghouse on New Year’s eve (Sat). It’s family friendly so bring the kids and a snack to share.
This Sunday we’ll be gathering in worship for our first meeting in 2012. As with the practice we began last year, I’d like for us to have a prayer and worship service around "remembering" not just of all the positive things that have happened in our lives over the last year, but to also reflect on those losses we may suffered. This provides us with a way to give thanks for all that took place, and to let go or hand over to God those difficult experiences and memories as well.
This is why we’re calling it a "service for remembering."
We know that while it is possible to move into the future ignoring the past, the more grounded and holistic way is to allow the past it’s place in our lives, while at the same time moving on from there. This is examine these experiences and how they have effected us, to consider unfinished business, and to open ourselves up to what God may bring us through in the coming year. To "re-member" means literally to "be mindful" of again, it is to take time to reflect on or to consider something, to hold it in your mind’s eye or heart. As we practice ‘remembering’ this Sunday we will have space to reflect on how both the times of great newness as well as loss can be opportunities for transformation.
Here are two passages for reflection:
Eccl. 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Eccl. 3:9 What gain have the workers from their toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. 11 He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; 13 moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”
(Revelation 21:1–6 NRSV)
- What were the triumphs in my/our life over the last year?
- What were the greatest struggles?
- What losses have I/we suffered?