Worship Preview 11.13.22 "A Time to Live"
Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 11:17-12:2 and Matthew 5:13-20 with Rev. Christopher Eshelman preaching.
Perhaps one of the best-known Scriptures comes from Ecclesiastes 3. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die…”For 8 beautiful verses to goes on calling to mind moments and seasons of life. These verses are well known, in part, because they form almost all the lyrics to the Pete Seeger song “Turn, Turn, Turn” which was made popular by The Byrds in the late 1960s.
We live in the spaces in between those opposites. Here and now, it is a time to live! And yet, it is easy to feel discouraged and overwhelmed. The book of Ecclesiastes is found by many to be a depressing book, yet it has been an essential touchstone on Pastor Christopher’s journey and his own transformation to an optimistic, hopeful view of life. He often likens it to receiving a shot – there is a difference between being told “this won’t hurt a bit” – and discovering the shot does sting! – as opposed to being told honestly, “this will sting a bit, but you can handle it.”
Ecclesiastes confronts the conflicts, conundrums, and perceived futility of life – and emerges with a message of hope, in good times and bad, and a call to enjoy life as a gift, whatever comes. So, we’ll hear from a later part of the book that counsels moderation, wisdom, and life that happens in between the opposing poles we tend to focus on. We’ll compare and connect that to Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 – a call to be salt and light and a paradoxical challenge to all who would follow the path of discipleship. These are texts that help us go deeper on our journey, to take the outwards symbols of faith – things like Baptism and Holy Communion that we’ve shared recently -and internalize the meaning of faith. It is time!