"For everything there is a season ... a time for every matter under heaven."
Today, we find ourselves at the end of one calendar year and at the commencement of another. We take account of what has happened in the world at large and in what has occurred in our own lives. We give thought to what might come and make resolutions regarding our behavior. The Teacher, the author of these verses and chapters, wrote from personal experience about the futility of human striving in pursuit of finding fulfillment in knowledge, riches, or even trying to understand the ways of God.
"Here's how to live, the Teacher says. "Eat what you want, savor the wine you drink, take enjoyment in life," and as a conclusion, this less-than-subtle command: "Fear God, keep God's commandments, for that is the whole duty of everyone." In all seasons, in all times, people who find anything of value in this world are those who stay rooted in the Lord God.
God of all time, Maker and Redeemer of all that the ages hold, you give and promise life; you give us meaning and hope. And, you have given us Christ, who is with us in all seasons and all times. In this, we rejoice. Amen
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 (NRSV)
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
9 What gain have the workers from their toil?
10 I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.
11 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.
12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live;
13 moreover, it is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.