July 2022 WATERritual: The Saving Grace of Fun

July 2022 WATERritual

The Saving Grace of Fun

By Diann L. Neu

Watch the July 2022 WATERritual.

 

Preparation

Sit in a fun place. Have a bowl of water and bubbles near. Display photos of your favorite fun places.

 

Call to Gather

Welcome to this WATERritual, “The Saving Grace of Fun.” Every season offers a grace-filled time for vacations, relaxation, fun, leisure, recreation, and renewal — even in places where work never seems to stop. It is a saving grace. It is an extended Sabbath time. It offers time to slow down, enjoy leisure time, and bask in the saving grace of fun.

If you are like me, you are exhausted from discussing justice issues like the Jan 6 hearings, shootings like Highland Park and Uvaldi, the dire effects of the Roe v Wade decision, the ongoing war in Ukraine, the injustice of racism, the rise of yet another Covid variant. We’re desperate for climate change policies to protect the sequoias from wildfires. We are worn out working for social change. Even practicing spirituality can be tiring.

The good news is that religion also has to do with pleasure, enjoyment, plain fun. These are marks of salvation just as surely as are good works and struggles.

Most of us, understandably, have done so much work, shouldered so many responsibilities just trying to survive that play is usually low on the list of things we do. Today let us invite one another to remember the value and necessity of enjoying life for its own sake, building community and developing ourselves through music, dancing, hobbies, sports, games, recreation, vacation, sabbath time.

Today we take time to recognize and lift up fun as an integral part of salvation, to see it as a human right. By doing so, we affirm each other in yet another dimension of who we are, and we look forward to the time when the pleasure of eternal life will be ours.

 

Song: “Come to the Circle” by Kathy Sherman, CSJ, from Song of the Universe (Ministry of the Arts ã 2015). Used with permission. https://youtu.be/zTFS60cW16o

Come to the circle and tell your story,

Listen and share the world inside you.

Come to the circle, your friends are waiting

to listen and share their stories too.

 

Naming the Circle

Let us create our circle here and focus on fun. Think about one thing you will do this week that is grace-filled fun. Just one for now. And type it into the chat.

 

Prayer

Divine Wisdom of Fun and Grace,

you refresh our whole being with your saving love.

Pour out your blessings and open us to fun-filled wisdom.

Source of Life. Saving Grace. Spirit of Joy.

Amen. Blessed be. May it be so.

 

Phoebe Reading: “God Laughing Out Loud” by Mary E. Hunt

from WATERwheel Vol 1, No 2 (Silver Spring, MD: WATERworks Press, 1988). Used with permission.

 

In the beginning God enjoyed herself.

She laughed out loud and laughed some more because it was good.

She sat back and smiled.

She clapped her hands in glee and she imagined her sisters dancing.

She did nothing but enjoy and it was everything.

 

God knew that there was work to be done—a world to create,

People to form and a whole cosmos to plan.

She even glimpsed the fact that creation would include meetings

And that there would be injustice to right, and still she laughed,

Knowing that in the end it was all about pleasure.

 

She explained to no one in particular

that enjoyment is what she intended life to be about.

Pleasure is the first principle.

She knew that other would-be divinities stressed work and obligation.

She reasoned quite astutely that if joy for all were the goal,

Then everyone could rest and relax, at least some of the time.

Just thinking about this made her grin.

 

Light years later, when creation came into being

And people began to toil and sweat their way,

She noticed that her first principle had been replaced by work and pain.

So she sent a reminder of her legacy.

She gave it several names: vacation, leisure, relaxation, recreation, fun.

Some thought it was a vestige of days gone by.

But God knew that it was the real thing.

She called it salvation.

 

Reflection  /  Small Group Sharing
“God knew that it was the real thing. She called it salvation.” Think about what you heard in the prayer and reading. What will you do just for fun? Sing? Dance? Hobbies? Leisure? How can we encourage each other in the joy of fun as we encourage each other in the pursuit of justice? Let us share our thoughts of the saving grace of fun with one another in groups for 3-4.

 

Whole Group Sharing

Kitty Blessing Bubbles and Water

Salvation, sabbath time, vacation rest, bubbles and water are good friends. We gather water and bubbles as symbols for the saving grace of fun.

Our bodies contain nearly 70 percent water and about 75 percent of Earth’s surface is covered by water. Think about this. Each time we play with water, take a shower, walk in the ocean, jump in a lake, or stomp in a puddle, we bless our bodies, our beings, and the world.

Visualize your favorite body of water. Pause. Send love and gratitude to this water. Pause. Imagine love flowing from your heart, down your arms, and out of your hands into the water.

Imagine standing under a waterfall, or in a stream, or in the ocean, and imagine water washing away anything you want to release.

Blow bubbles, or imagine blowing them. Think of how bubbles and water speak to you about the saving grace of fun. Bless yourself with water, and give thanks.

 

Song: “I Am So Grateful/Gratitude” by Karen Drucker https://youtu.be/q0sSZkCpA64

 

Take Action

  • Do something fun every day this week.
  • Skip with a child or adult. Laugh just to laugh.
  • Check the Travel Section of your local newspaper for vacation options.
  • Blow bubbles. Go to the water.

 

Sending Forth

Let us go forth and have fun.

May our vacation be full of joy.

May we be renewed with waters of leisure and bubbles of wonder.

May we know the saving grace of fun, be happy, and show it!

 

Song: “If You’re Happy and You Know It” https://youtu.be/hwTwt4oIW3U

 

© 2022 Diann L. Neu, WATER: Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual, adapted from Stirring WATERS: Feminist Liturgies for Justice, dneu@hers.com