Holy Endings

JamesC January 01, 2018 0

Open the Holy Endings New Year 2018 Resource Pack on top right of this page to read/download the free PDF which contains an intro to the theme, the weekly sub themes, and daily readings and thought triggers. This theme runs from 31 December to 10 February.

It is an inescapable part of life that despite our best hopes, wishes and intentions… sometimes things just fall apart.They break down unexpectedly, permanently and irreversibly.

Lives end prematurely, relationships fracture, buildings close their doors, enterprises fold, projects wind up. Sometimes these breakdowns are shocking and painful, and at other times drawn out and wearying, and sometimes they are a joyous celebration, a bittersweet farewell to what has been.

So over the weeks we will be exploring prayerfully bringing things to an end with dignity, care and love. Rather than making New Year Resolutions to resolve to do new things, we are going to resolve to let go, to stop, to allow things to run their course, to reach ‘a holy ending’.

Much pain and suffering can be caused by trying to extend things past their natural life, to refuse to let go of something that has already broken. Or by clinging on to something, which while good in its time, needs to close so that something new can happen. It can be hard to know when to let go of something and when to persist. We do not want to cut and run, abandoning plans at the first sign of trouble.

The seed must break upon the ground and die if there is to be new life (see John 12: 24). We cannot give up at every setback, accepting the inevitability of defeat, but we need to be aware of the rhythm of things. It’s often natural for good things to run their course.

Breakdowns are never easy, but some are completely unavoidable, out of our hands and devastating. Our God does not stand apart when we suffer. God is with us as we sift through the pieces, the tatters, the ruins. When something has broken down completely and we are entirely out of our depth, helpless and lost, our God gives us the opportunity to give something a holy ending - to hand it over, in all its messiness and pain and guilt and doubt - to let go in love. With God’s grace, we can learn to tell the story of who we are, with all the twists and turns woven into a new narrative.

“The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.” From Church of England Night Prayer (Compline)​​​​​​​

Open the Holy Endings New Year 2018 Resource Pack PDF to see the weekly sub themes, and daily readings and thought triggers.