Turn Turn Turn
To read this letter properly you need to go into your closet and pick out your favorite tie-dyed shirt. Get comfortable in your beanbag chair. Click HERE then click the play button and listen. This is a great song and based in the Hebrew text of Ecclesiastes 3:1-13.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 9 What gain have the workers from their toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. 11 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. 12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; 13 moreover, it is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.
The work of wisdom recognizes that in every season everybody experiences growth and that growth leads to change. But it is in the growth and change where we find life and that life is a free gift from God by the grace of Jesus Christ. Even in death, there is a great deal of growth. I know this through my own experiences being close to death. That life is more than any one thing and how we live and what we live for matters because no matter how big or small our imprint on this world is, all people are important.
If anything through the different seasons of life we are called to care for each other, since God created us in God’s image. God also calls us to care for what He has given to us. A Dakota man once said to me, “You white people, you think you own land, you think you own money, you think you own your life, but what happens to the land when you leave it, what happens to the money when it is spent, what happens to your life when you die? What we have is what the spirits give us and is ours to care for and nurture.”
For me this made a lot of sense. Having the reality of my life hanging over me lets me sort through the junk and focus on the reality. It instills within me a real sense of the humanity of your life and the true lack of control that you have over the most negligible portion of your life. It is a realization that life is not static it is dynamic. In other words, life is ever-changing.
As reformed Christians we have an understanding that we are reformed and always reforming. In other words in the journey of our faith we are on a constant pursuit of becoming more aware and more focused on God. Ultimately, we come to the realization that the end of any journey is the beginning of the next one.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. We are called to live this reality and to focus and celebrate God, knowing that as the seasons change we keep moving on and everything is done under the eye of God.
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Rev. Dr. Bryan James Franzen