According to Ecclesiastes, there is a time for just about anything…
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.
There is a time to say goodbye, like we will on Sunday to Rusty. As our interim musician, Rusty brought us a wonderful and caring presence...one that will forever be marked on the heart of St. Stephen’s. Yet, as we say goodbye, we also prepare to say hello to Oksana - our new Cantor!
Hello and goodbye are common in our lives.
But what about those more difficult things that we hear in the passage...a time for hate and a time for love, a time for war and a time for peace? A time for silence and a time to speak?
As people of Christ I hope that we realize that after current events - with more assured to come, we no longer live in a time for silence, hate or war. We are living in a time to speak, love and seek peace.
Speak - speak to the violence in our city. Speak out against racism and hate.
Love - love and compassion in the name of Christ can drown out so much hate! Call hate what it is...evil.
Peace - only when we truly seek peace can we ever understand what we are called to be as children of God. And this peace is not always talking about ceasing bombings and war...though that would be nice. This is also a peace internal, a peace that you find in yourself in order to better hear Christ and God calling you into being.
Be vigilant in these times when it seems the sun is blotted out, love yourself and your neighbor...look out for one another and bring the peace that passes all understanding to all you meet.
For then, in Christ, love will always surpass evil. Light will shine in the darkness and we will realize that the darkness has not overcome it.
Peace be with you.
Yours in Christ,