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.
Words of comfort
John 12: 24
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
Psalm 147: 1-5
Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
Isaiah 61: 1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
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?
hearts and all.
Where will our help come from?
Our help will come from the Lord.
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.