A Time for Everything
There’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under the heavens: a time for giving birth and a time for dying, a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted, a time for killing and a time for healing, a time for tearing down and a time for building up, a time for crying and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing, a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones, a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces, a time for searching and a time for losing, a time for keeping and a time for throwing away, a time for tearing and a time for repairing, a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking, a time for loving and a time for hating, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Today I saw a few yellow leaves fall off the trees in my yard and float to the ground. So slowly. So gently. They landed ever so lightly on the green grass, their bright glow vibrant against the dark ground cover. It is the beginning of August, so why are a few leaves so ready to let go and drop to the earth? It doesn't feel like fall yet. We still have bright sunshine and warm days that call us to sit outside and feel the sunbeams on our skin. We grasp for a full summer, with lots of group activities and joyous fun. In contrast wanting to hold onto summer, many of us are trying to let go of the pandemic. We run away from masks and social isolation and funerals of loved ones. We try to wish away the risk and uncertainty. We hide our anxiety with bravado. But as the leaves remind me that this season will end and another will begin, the news reminds us that this pandemic is not yet over. The writer of Ecclesiastes has a long list of the things there is a time for. Along with the items in the bible list, I recently received a photo reminding me that plagues have come before, and they have their time as well.
This sign also makes me wonder what I am avoiding in my own life. What stuff do I wish would end, or would start, or would come again? Am I trying to reach for a time that hasn't come, or a time that will not return? Am I willing to be present in whatever faces me at this moment?
Ecclesiastes calls us to accept and consider embracing whatever we are facing in our own time. We are in the time we are given, but it will not last forever, and another time will come. Let us turn our gaze to where we are today, to enjoy the summer season, and reflect on the historic time we are living within.
Peace + Grace,
Pastor Anna-Lisa Hunter
August 4, 2021