Saturday 4 July
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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.


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.

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

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.