Times & Seasons

For everything there is a season,
and time for every matter under heaven.
THE SEASON OF CHANGE IS UPON US.  The trees and plants have awakened from their winter’s sleep.  Seniors have made their final walk down the halls of their respective schools, receiving their hard-earned diplomas. Spring is about to slip into summer.  Day after day,  week after week, year after year the earth turns and brings with each turn inevitable changes—some of them welcome, others not; some of them needed, others not; some of them to be embraced, others rejected.
You may remember the song Turn! Turn! Turn! It was written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950’s and later released as a single by the American folk-rock group, The Byrds, in October of 1965. It climbed to the number 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart on December 4, 1965.  Though the song enjoyed great popularity, far fewer recognized the song as coming from the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes with many of the lyrics being nearly word for word.
Solomon sums up beautifully the reality of life for each of us in this passage from Ecclesiastes.  It seems as though every year brings with it numerous changes as each of us moves through the stages of life from birth to the grave.  It is certainly cause to make us pause in sober evaluation of who we are, where we are, where we are going and the decisions we each will make.
We rejoice at the first cry of new life with parents bubbling over with both ecstasy and apprehension at the responsibility they have embraced.  We pray for families who are struggling to make ends meet while battling for the souls of their children.  Our prayer for them is that they will be able to build within their children a solid worldview that recognizes God as the Creator of heaven and earth and Jesus as the Redeemer of lost souls.  We pray for our graduating seniors who are making career decisions, that they will not lose sight of God and of Jesus in the midst of their dreams and pursuits.  We weep with those who have said, or are saying, their final farewells to loved ones who, in the words of Scripture, are about to go the way of all flesh (1 Kings 2:2).  We pray for Christians everywhere, that they will honor God above all things in the midst of the challenges and changes they face daily, and that they will have both the courage to make needed change and the wisdom to reject change that dishonors God.
Yes.  Change is inevitable—for us.  Even within the life of the Church there are times and seasons of needed change.  The good news is, God never changes.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
More than ever before in our lifetime, we need the wisdom of Solomon to know:
      When to plant and when to pluck up what is planted (v. 2).
      When to break down and when to build up (v. 3).
      When to weep and when to laugh (v. 4).
      When to keep and when to cast away (v. 6).
      When to keep silence and when to speak (v. 7).

So, in your journey through life, what time is it?  Let me share with you the closing words of Ecclesiastes from the wisdom and discoveries of Solomon.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth
      before the evil days come. . . .

Now all has been heard;
      here is the conclusion of the matter
Fear God and keep His commandments
      for this is the duty of all mankind.

                                          -Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13