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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, June 25, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Ecclesiastes 3:1–15

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. What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.

He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, 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; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by. (NRSV)

Reflection
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be mute, and a time to be unmuted;
a time to watch an episode, and a time to watch yet another episode;
a time to order out, and a time to throw away leftovers;
a time to stay in shape, and a time to just relax;
a time to sing, and a time to refrain from singing outside your own home;
a time to shelter in place, and a time to gather in groups no larger than ten;
a time to throw away the old ways, and a time to embrace new ideas;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to flatten the curve, and a time venture outside;
a time to wear a facemask, and a time to be unmasked;
a time to be grateful, and a time to realize the needs of others;
a time to be patient, and a time for action;
a time to realize what is broken, and a time to fix what is broken;
a time for dignity for essential workers, and a time for equal justice for all.

Living through this COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented time for all of us. The pandemic did not break our society; it only revealed what was already broken in our world. There will come a time to rethink and recreate our society, and let us do so with the knowledge that all people are created in God's image. Let us take advantage of this crisis to make a better world, not just for ourselves but for all God’s children.

Prayer
Loving God, be with us in these difficult and challenging days. Help us to love you and to see your face in all whom we encounter—our neighbor, the essential worker, the immigrant, and every person created in your image. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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