Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

            a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

 a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.


What gain have the workers from their toil?  I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.  He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.


I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.


  From  Rev. David T. Chafin, Deputy Regional Minister

            This text is not just “for the Birds.  It speaks of life in the new  millennium, just as well as it did in the ‘60’s and in Solomonic times.  For all our sophistication, we still partake of the human cycles of birth and death, laughing and weeping, sowing and reaping, war and peace. 

            On the cusp of a new calendar, I can’t help but wonder how all these things call to us to “turn” (a word not in the text, but certainly in the folk hit that we remember).  It may not be not so much in the extraordinary events of our lives that we are summoned to turn our lives toward the God, as it is the mundane. 

            The writer could think of nothing better for us than to “be happy, enjoy ourselves,…eat and drink, and take pleasure in our work.”  Maybe those are the noblest goals and the best stewardship of our time we can imagine for 2009.  Perhaps living such a life would truly reflect a turning for us and for earth’s history. 

May this new year be blessed with a new awareness of how blessed we are in the mundane, simple things, O God.


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