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Archive for May 26th, 2016

Ecclesiastes 3 English Standard Version (ESV)

A Time for Everything

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 cast 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 cast 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.

This passage from Ecclesiastes is today’s Old Testament reading and the text was incorporated into a song by folk singer Pete Seeger.

There is an excellent Bible study on these verses from Pastor Eric Anderson, “Contentment Ecclesiastes 3:1-15”.  The gist of the interpretation is “You’re Not in Control, and that’s a Good Thing”.  Our times are in God’s hands:  a time for every purpose under heaven. St. Basil is quoted in the Bible study teaching that all those times will prompt us to pray:  

“It is necessary to bear in mind that for certain other tasks a particular time is allotted, according to the words of Ecclesiastes: “All things have their season.” For prayer and psalmody, however, as also, indeed, for some other duties, every hour is suitable, that, while our hands are busy at their tasks, we may praise God sometimes with the tongue (when this is possible, or, rather, when it is conducive to edification); or, if not, with the heart, at least, in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, as it is written (Col. 3:16). Thus in the midst of our work we can fulfill the duty of prayer, giving thanks to Him who has granted strength to our hands for performing our tasks and cleverness to our minds for acquiring knowledge, and for having provided the materials, both that which is in the instruments we use and that which forms the matter of the arts in which we may be engaged, praying that the work of our hands may be directed toward its goal, the good pleasure of God”

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