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 Darwin Collins, Christian Church Foundation

Yes, this is the day that we lament the passage of another year? Time has an illusive quality to it that permits it to move at times outside of our consciousness.  Still the wisdom writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that God has given us a sense of past and future. Not necessarily an awareness and understanding of this time past and yet to be.

We know this passage primarily as the glossary of seasons and their appropriate nature in God’s plan, but what of the verses that follow that speak of how God wishes for us to use that time. Much like the creation story, the writer speaks of each having a suitable way to use our time.  Aware that some of our time is spent in struggle and uncertainty, I find it helpful to hear in this and every time that God’s intention is for us to be happy and to enjoy our life.

God of each day, in this day and in the new year to come

remind us of your desire for our happiness and joy!