Friday 21 February
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Romance, intimacy, and heartbreak

Liz Crumlish, a Church of Scotland minister working on a national renewal project Path of Renewal, writes about the exciting but often challenging experience of love and romance.


Words of comfort

Song of Solomon 2: 10-13

My beloved spoke and said to me,

“Arise, my darling,

my beautiful one, come with me.

See! The winter is past;

the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;

the season of singing has come,

the cooing of doves

is heard in our land.

The fig tree forms its early fruit;

the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.

Arise, come, my darling;

my beautiful one, come with me.”

Ephesians 3: 17b-19

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Genesis 24: 58-67

So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”

“I will go,” she said.

So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,

“Our sister, may you increase

to thousands upon thousands;

may your offspring possess

the cities of their enemies.”

Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.

Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”

“He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.

Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Psalm 139: 13-14

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

Prayers

Romance

All those covert looks

trying not to get caught

trying not to be obvious in the attraction

Hanging around for a glimpse

with butterflies in the stomach

Unable to eat, dreaming of what might be…

The knowledge, that this is not like other loves,

those mere infatuations fade into the background

in the face of real love

fun for a time and season

but incomparable when things step up a gear

in the serious business of love.

For then, there is something worth pursuing,

worth the work

worth fighting for

a light that refuses to be extinguished but that always shines through -

A flicker in the darkest of times

That wraps itself around and within, refusing to let go or give up.

Real, gritty, sometimes tough love.

Intimacy

Human beings

created in the image of God

meant for relationship

for intimacy

for that closeness

where lines are blurred

and it’s hard to tell where one finishes and the other begins

and in the midst of it all

there you are, O God

intimately involved with your creation

loving us into being

loving us all through life

loving us through death and new beginnings

created and nurtured in love for all time

The Divine mystery.

Thanks be to God.

Heartbreak

And God, in those days of heartbreak, when we feel like less than you created us to be.

When love seems in short supply and life conspires to diminish the divine spark that is in us

Gently remind us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, created in your image, sustained by your love.

And in that knowledge, raise us up to be all that you created us to be, beloved children of God, on whom God’s favour rests, in whom God’s love resides, with whom God’s peace abides.

Love

God, you have created humans to be unique and yet connected.

To be independent and yet reliant on others.

To be individual and yet part of a whole.

May we rejoice in the freedom to make connections and discover common purpose in all sorts of people and places.

And may we be willing to risk commitment, the commitment of love.