Letting go in love

Norah Summers, an Elder at Falkirk Trinity Parish Church, writes about the many kinds of letting go that feature in human lives, and encourages us to let go in love.


“Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain.”

Life at its simplest is a cycle, birth and death, death and birth.

How often in a family do the two events come together! Surely no coincidence. It is easy to see that death is a letting go – but birth is too in a way – it is the start of a long journey for parents whose task is to prepare the young to leave the nest. That can be painful – but it is the youngsters’ new start, and the cycle continues.

We leave our home nest to go to school, we leave education to go to work, we leave one job for another. We may take a break for family reasons, to look after children or elderly relatives, we retire from work - every move is a step into the unknown,a letting go of something familiar and comfortable, to take on something new and scary.

We can’t go back –the old is gone, and we can’t hang on to it.

We can take its lessons with us, the experience and knowledge we have gained, and adapt them to our new situation – which may just prepare us for the next one, and the cycle continues.

Readings

  • Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

    John 12: 24
    NIV
  • Praise the Lord!
    How good it is to sing praises to our God;
    for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
    The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
    he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
    He heals the brokenhearted,
    and binds up their wounds.
    He determines the number of the stars;
    he gives to all of them their names.
    Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
    his understanding is beyond measure.

    Psalm 147: 1-12
    NIV
  • The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

    because the Lord has anointed me;
    he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
    to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and release to the prisoners;
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
    to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a garland instead of ashes,
    the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

    Isaiah 61: 1-4
    NIV
  • As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

    Mark 1: 16-20
    NIV

Prayers

  • Constant Love

    Constant God,

    our time here is short, and you are eternal.

    Our little lives come and go,

    and all the time you are watching over the cycle of life and death,

    which you have shared in the birth, life, and death of Jesus.

    Whatever befall, you have been there before us,

    and your constant love upholds us.

  • Where will our help come from?

    Inevitably we have to face the death of people we love.

    But bereavement and grief come in many guises,

    not only that of death.

    Loss is a fact of life –

    loss of employment,

    whether the shock of redundancy

    or the scary prospect of retirement;

    loss of a relationship,

    whether by betrayal or abandonment or simple drifting apart;

    loss of home and possessions

    by fire or flood;

    loss of health, mobility, sight, hearing;

    loss of trust,

    by some foolish action or words of our own;

    and can we even imagine the trauma of refugees

    who have simply lost everything,

    including their dignity and sense of place in life?

    Everything broken,

    hearts and all.

    Where will our help come from?

    Our help will come from the Lord.

  • Constant God

    Constant God,

    you heal the broken-hearted

    and bandage their wounds.

    You alone have the words of life.

    Your light shines in the darkness,

    and the darkness has never put it out.

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