the dark of the womb
Updated: Apr 3
Waters of creation and Recreation
During this Holy Week, we are offering three online worship experiences to help you focus on the sacredness of the high holy days that lead us to the Resurrection Celebration on Easter Sunday!
Today we focus on what is known as Maundy Thursday - Jesus' last evening with his disciples prior to his death. The blue glass bead in your Holy Week packet is intended to help you connect with Jesus' act of service in washing the feet of the disciples. You may want to hold it or have it neaby as you set your home space for worship. We remember the First Day of Creation, and meditate on the Waters of the Womb in our service today. Set a sacred space this evening. We invite you to have a cup or a bowl of water nearby so you can drink, or wash your hands, or care for those around you by washing them during the service. Below, you will find an outline of the service and the written reflection for the evening. The Maundy Thursday picture above has a link to our online worship service.
1st Movement: The Life-giving Waters of Darkness (Images of water, blue, sparkling)
We begin with the Communal Presence of Maundy Thursday, with the sanctuary fully lit. A celebration of the joyful preparation is filled with readings and music of waters and wine. This flows seamlessly into the birthing waters reading and the remembrance of the foot washing. Scriptural themes, prayers, and readings center on the waters of creation, the waters of cleansing (foot washing in John 13), and the passage in John 16:20-24 where Jesus speaks of a woman in labor and pain. A reading about a child in the womb leaves us percolating on our continuous renewal in Christ. This prepares us to approach the Table of New Birth tomorrow, as we connect in Spirit on Good Friday.
Order for the 1st Movement: The Life-giving Waters of Darkness
Opening Scripture, “Darkness and The Waters of Life” – Genesis 1:1-5 (Terrie)
Song: “Down to the River to Pray” (Solveig)
Scripture of Cleansing – John 13:2b-11 (Steve)
Foot Washing (Matthew and Trista)
Song: “Jesu, Jesu” (UMH 432) (Solveig)
Scripture of Labor – John 16:20-24 (Lydia)
Reflection on the Womb: The Life-giving Waters of Darkness (Trista)
A Moment of Silent Reflection (slide with sunset photo over the waters)
“Reflection on the Womb: The Life-Giving Waters of Darkness"
by Trista L. Wynne, Assistant Pastor and Director of Ministries
Julian of Norwich, the brilliant Mystic, Holy Presence and Sacred Gift of a woman who gave us her Revelations of Divine Love, spoke of a vision where she was shown an infant in the womb. From there, she says, she perceived in her understanding that we now can no more understand what comes after death than an embryo in the womb can grasp the rich textures and experiences of this present life.
For Lady Julian, the womb waters of our current existence are preparing us for the Great Beyond, where full union with Divine Love will once more be our experience, just as it was in the very beginning, in the Time Before Time. Experiencing the Divine Love so fully present in Christ is, in her writings, likened to the Great Dreamer who manifested us in Herself long before we were sent out into the plane of this reality. Coming back into Divine Union is the ultimate reality, and will be, in her perspective, the great healing that we all will experience at some point when all will be fully revealed as it truly is.
Jesus is our Mother – out of whom we shall never come to birth, Julian says. In other words, re-union with the Great Sacred Mystery of Divine Love found in Christ is likened to a re-entry into the transformative waters of a Mother’s womb. And in these Sacred Womb Waters, there is room for all, and a freedom to grow and co-create, and to welcome transformation that will never be complete. We will always be in the process of being made new, and therefore, we will never experience the pain of separation from our Great Divine Mother.
All will be well, she says. All will be well. All manner of things shall, indeed, be well.
There will be a time when we fully embrace the Sacred Mystery of the Deep Divine Womb Waters surrounding us even now. In that place of being known and fully trusting the process of the womb, we will allow the Holy Spirit to re-create us time and time and time again.
Enter the Sacred Mystery, my friends. Come now, and enter the womb waters of these High Holy Days. Here we go now – into the darkness, into the Sacred Shadows, where life, indeed, is truly transformed…