Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 8
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
In the heady days of 1965 The Byrds recorded their version of this passage under the title of Turn Turn Turn. It struck a chord with a generation and became a theme song for the Hippy “movement” throughout the World (for the younger generation Hippy Movement is nothing to do with dancing – I suggest you Google it!).
I seem to remember some people being quite shocked and even offended when they discovered the lyrics had not flowed entirely from Pete Seegar’s vivid imagination, but actually had been written some two and a half thousand years before anyone thought of going to San Francisco with flowers in their hair, and had been in both the Hebrew and Christian Bible for centuries.
Yet it encapsulates the feelings of many, like all great literature, and that is why it speaks to modern man as much as those settling back in their homeland after the Exile. In many ways of course, it states the startlingly obvious ‘There is a season for everything’. Give God time and all will sort itself out, because history tends to be cyclical rather than linear.
The good news is coming that soon there will again be a time to embrace our loved ones, the time for isolation is coming to an end and the time to be with others will dawn.
Seegar did add an extra line right at the end, he wrote ‘I swear its not too late’ sadly for many it is too late to say that final farewell or to tell them they are loved now and they have passed from our sight.
It is time also to remember that it’s never too late with God, and there is always a chance for good to come to the fore again.
Lord God our loving Father in Heaven as we come closer and closer to the end of lockdown, help us to be patient, we have put up with so much for so long let us not waste the sacrifices made. There will be a time to sing and dance and play again, may we celebrate those times with you.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,