Parting

Opening prayer

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O Rising Dawn,
Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice:
come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
O Antiphon

Crossing thresholds and breaking with the past

Any authentic movement usually requires a break from the past - not because the past is bad but because it is so difficult for a deeper truth to make itself known among the accretions of habit and conformity.  (Untraced)

When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah,  but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”  They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” (Luke 1:59-63)

 John Salzarulo, unsplash.com

John Salzarulo, unsplash.com

Reflection

The neighbours and family appear to be at the forefront of naming Zachariah and Elizabeth’s son and are shocked that they are being rebuffed with a counter idea.  The lines are well marked, and have been for years - there has been no John in their family line and there won’t be.   What God has lead them towards is not the norm.  Another way and meaning is offered that transcends the usual personal or group experience to date. Here is a strong reminder of Another way.  Some expectation, belief, goal may have to be left behind, some association loosened or renegotiated.

The fledgling christian movement was named ‘the Way’.  Elsewhere Jesus talks of ‘the narrow way’. Book titles such as The Road Less Travelled too remind us that there may be something very different in the offing, an alternative perspective, a re-scripted narrative.  At each crossroad there is a possibility of a turn being taken, a parting made and 'for a deeper truth to make itself known'.  

Closing Question

In thinking of a behaviour, a particular relationship or a way of thinking regarding the future say consider: Is another particular way being shown to me?  Am I being invited to part with something?