Saturday, 30 January 2021

In Everything there is a time..



January 29, 2021 

In Everything there is a time..

In Ecclesiastes 3 we read “For everything there is a

season and a time for every matter under heaven:” This general statement is then followed by a list of opposites-“ time to be born and to die; to plant and pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal...” The list continues for 6 more verses all indicating opposite actions or reactions to life’s every day occurrences.

But what I am reflecting on in these moments is simply this—who discerns when this time occurs? Covid19 and now its variants are still plaguing the people around the world. There are many people becoming ill and even though there is much care administered many have died. It has been reported that the number of people who have died from covid19 in the US right now is more than who perished during World War II. What is it that we seem to be doing wrong? Or are we just merely marking time?

In each day’s publication of the local newspaper there are many obituaries. Although this week we learned of the deaths of accomplished actresses Cicely Tyson and Cloris Leachman, it is the pages of local people whose stories are told which are intriguing. These are people who lived in community and for many of them 2021 brought much hope. Yet they became ill and after a short period of time, died leaving families to mourn. But it is how we are mourning that causes us to be concerned now for will we really be able to gather and honour these beloved people in the months to come? Will families really want to do this as they have already moved on with their lives? Or does one really fully mourn without extended family and friends?

As I meet with families who are grieving the death of their loved ones, they are missing the social interaction, the hugs, kind words of extended family members and friends. It is just simply sad. So what can we do under these circumstances? We can offer our sympathies through cards, calls, letters and through connecting with those who mourn. For there will also come a time when we will dance and be filled with joy as we see and share again as we remember those who are now in God’s heavenly kingdom.

We need to also consider that we as people need each other through this pandemic. We need to befriend others and show that we care. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again if two lie together, they keep warm;

but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another two will withstand one. A three- fold cord is not quickly broken.”  This three-fold cord represents our love for others and for God in our midst. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11). We are not alone. God is with us.

God understands that this pandemic has been stressful for all of us. There is nothing we would like to do more than to drive and see other people and places. But the risk is high for community contact and so we need to think and connect with others in different ways. We also need to care for ourselves- to eat well, keep active and talk with others about the activities each is doing- whether working from home, doing puzzles, cooking, or playing music. These are the things we must lift up in order to maintain some level of happiness and hope. We must also pray for this is what we are all capable of doing many times in the day. We can pray that the time will come for healing, love, and peace. So let us remember that all things have a time under heaven. We need to be patient and to pray for there is time for this in God’s creation,too.

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