We had a wonderful evening this evening as our friend Daffyfiregirl led us in a seasonal meditation on the theme of the Autumn equinox. We used liturgy largely borrowed from our friends at Forest Church.
As we began, a selection of puddings reflecting the end of summer (strawberries and cream) and the beginning of autumn (blackberry, apple and rhubarb crumble) was laid out before us. We reflected on the various stories: the sun, rising and setting due east and west, night and day in perfect balance; the food, the boundary of harvest (plenty) and winter (lean); nature, green changing to brown; and our own story, thanking God from the fruit of our lives, mourning what has been planted and failed to grow, and praying for what we need.
We reflected on the balance between light and dark, one that is hard to achieve in the world. One particularly moving passage was Psalm 74. Written at a time of desolation, it begins with lament over the apparent victory of Gods enemies and the destruction of the temple, and then enters into a song of praise for all he has done. It particular, verse 16-17 says:
The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon.
It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter
As we shared communion and prayed the Agnes Dei together, asking God for his mercy, we remember that life is full of dark and light. There is very real pain in our community at present which tempers the joy of our celebration. We thank God that he is Lord of both Light and Darkness, Summer and Winter, Harvest and Fasting. He sustains us and we sustain each other.
The changing of the seasons makes friends of us. May the circle be unbroken
(Thanks to Bruce Stanley and Forest Church for his meditation)