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.
This morning’s post – written between sneezes as both Rebekah and I wrestle with full-on winter colds – starts off as a shout-out to the Praise Team members at WFPC, who offered an exceptionally authentic version of The Byrds classic 1965 hit Turn, Turn, Turn during worship Sunday morning.
Our band really is very good. The musicians produce a recording quality sound, and their faith shines through in the way they present the music. Their gift is always an offering of praise, and an invitation for the congregation to enter into worship
The song, written by Pete Seeger, features lyrics lifted pretty much word for word from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. The only line Seeger added was the tag after a time for peace – “I swear it’s not too late.”
Rebekah had just preached from Matthew 16, talking about Jesus’ timeless question, “Who do you say that I am?” And once again I was struck by how the various parts of scripture work together to reach into our souls and teach us something important – and timeless – about God’s initiatives through our lives as followers of Jesus.
There is a Season:
Everything has a time, a purpose, and a season. There is so much going on in the world, and it can be confusing to see the contradictions between war and peace, love and hate, tearing down and building up, embracing, searching, losing, crying, laughing, dancing, repairing, healing, and so much more. But God is sovereign, and somehow all the threads of history will come together and – bottom line – it’s going to be okay.
It’s going to be okay if we know the answer to the question Jesus posed through Rebekah’s message, “Who do you say that I am?” You see, once we answer that question, then we know who it is that we follow.
Do you say Jesus is lord? Is he savior? Is he simply a good teacher? Is he little more than a religious icon… an afterthought… or still stuck in the manger as a cute baby? Is he your friend… your guide… your master…? Is Jesus God?
I say that Jesus is – as Peter put it – “The Son of the Living God.” Jesus is the gate, he is the portal through which I enter the Kingdom. Because of Jesus, I am completely confident that I am reconciled to God, and that my future as a participant in God’s ongoing initiatives of grace, mercy, love, and promise is assured.
It’s the kind of assurance that brings the confusion and contradiction of Ecclesiastes 3 into a kind of harmony. Somehow, and because of Jesus, all the threads of history will come together, and – as participants in God’s initiatives of grace, mercy, love, and promise – we are not only beneficiaries of God’s providential mercy, we are part of God’s plan.
I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of hope and promise that makes me glad I’m experiencing Monday right after another wonderful Sunday with my faith community.
Here’s the link to the video – Who Do You Say that I Am? – Rebekah’s message begins at time stamp 23:27, and Turn, Turn, Turn gets underway around 48:55.
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes that there is a time for peace. Pete Seeger added, “I swear it’s not too late.”
Because of Jesus, it isn’t too late; it never is – DEREK