Meditation written by Cathy Tamsberg.
Read by Jim Epps.
Today’s lectionary passage from the Hebrew Bible is that wonderful chapter in Ecclesiastes put to music by Pete Seeger and made famous by the Byrds back in the ‘60s. “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) It reminds us that there are seasons in our lives. Time to be a child, teenage years, a period of young adulthood, thirty-something years, middle age, retirement years, and older adulthood are all part of our lives if health and good fortune are ours. Within those periods are personal intervals: times for career development, nurturing relationships with spouses/partners, raising children, caring for elderly parents, as well as intensely challenging periods that may include things like rocky relationships, health issues, depression, job changes, or unemployment. The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us of many more.
Take time to read this passage in its entirety today. Then consider the question frequently posed by our former pastor Mahan Siler: “What time is it?” In your life, in the life of your family, what time is it? What is required of you in this period of your life? Who needs your support? What kind of support do you need in order to be supportive of others? Where can you go to get what you need? How can you find your sacred center in the midst of the demands placed upon you?
world? We’re beginning to come out of a tremendously difficult time economically in our nation and around the world. Some people can feel the recovery personally and some cannot. We’ve just been through a brutal election season and we live in a period in American history when our citizens are polarized as never before. We are also living at a time when the American empire’s dominance seems to be waning. Civil wars and conflicts abound. What does all this mean for you as an individual and for you as a citizen of the U.S. and the world? What does it mean for the commonwealth of God?
If this exercise has left you hopeful and optimistic, take time to offer a prayer of gratitude. If it has left you overwhelmed or discouraged, pray for hope, for energy, and for people in your life with whom you can face life’s challenges. Regardless of what time it is in your life, hear these words from Ecclesiastes with your heart: “…It is God‘s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. I know that whatever God does endures forever…”
This meditation is from “Lent: Sowing Season, Holy Time,” a collection of daily readings by Associate Pastor Cathy Tamsberg. Each day during Lent, from Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a new excerpt read by a member of the Pullen congregation will be made available. To hear each day’s reading as it is published, subscribe to Pullen’s RSS feed, or listen to the podcast in iTunes.