9: September ~ Blessing of Change and Letting Go

Change is natural if not always smooth as we move from one phase of life to another. The month of September brings us a change of seasons: The warmth of summer gives way to mornings with a touch of chill in the air; the evenings come earlier as the days shorten in the rhythm of the season.

Change means letting go and accepting what will come: we must allow the comfortable to be replaced by new urgencies. Without the season of fall, summer’s growth would never become the harvest; it is now time for seeds to begin the process for the next life cycle.

This blessing may be used at a family gathering, outdoor event, or a cookout. The reflection will help to draw attention to the signs of change which our natural surroundings provide.

Opening Prayer

Let us pray: O Lord, you mark the journey of life with change. Once again we witness your creation moving from one season to the other. Change is your instrument of growth that brings us to a deeper relationship with you. May your Word be the lantern that guides the roads of change in our lives. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Song of Praise: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Response: Rejoice and do well during life.

 

There is an appointed time for everything,

and a time for every affair under the heavens.

A time to give birth, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.

Response: Rejoice today and do well during life.

 

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to tear down, and a time to build.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Response: Rejoice today and do well during life.

 

A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;

a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.

A time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

Response: Rejoice today and do well during life.

 

A time to rend, and a time to sew;

a time to be silent, and a time to speak.

A time to love, and a time to hate;

a time of war, and a time of peace.

Response: Rejoice today and do well during life.

 

Reading: Ecclesiastes 3:9-15

What profit have workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to mortals to be busied about. God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.

I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life. Moreover, that all can eat and drink and enjoy the good of all their toil—this is a gift of God.

I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever; there is no adding to it, or taking from it. Thus has God done that he may be revered. What now is has already been; what is to be, already is: God retrieves what has gone by.

 

 

Selective Passages from Scripture:

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

 

Isaiah 43:18-19

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

 

Luke 9:62

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

 

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

 

Quiet Reflection, or people may share their thoughts.

 

Closing Blessing

(Invite all to raise their hands and arms in prayer.)

O Divine Artist, we give you praise for the wonders of this summer that now draws to a close. We are thankful for such wonders as the sunshine, the rain, the song of birds, the garden produce, the family gatherings, for the cuttings of hay and the sweet smell of flowers.

Now a new season is coming, one that causes us to move indoors for school and that changes to green to red, brown and harvest gold. But change is difficult for your people. It makes us feel awkward and anxious.

Help us to learn from all of nature how life must change.

Bless this change that is occurring in the land around us. Bless the passages and the transitions that happen in our lives. And when these changes in life cause us pain and anguish, guide us to healing and deeper understanding.

May we let go with courage and allow you to lead us another step closer to your Promised Land. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.