Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie
“A Time to Welcome Christ”
As we begin a New Year today, the passage from Ecclesiastes seems very appropriate for our reflection on the year past and our looking forward to all that is in store for us in 2017. The author of the Wisdom Book of Ecclesiastes helps us to keep the events of the last year in perspective, remembering that there were good times and challenging times, and that God was with us through them all.
“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…” There is a time and a season for each purpose – good news for those of us who often feel like we are always running short on time.
Of course, the poetic listing of those various purposes is familiar to us. Perhaps we’ve encountered the passage in Bible study, or heard it read at a funeral, or maybe we just know the song by Pete Seeger, later covered by the band, “The Byrds”: “To every thing (turn, turn, turn) … Read more »
“Making the Most of the Time”
When the letter to the Ephesians was written towards the end of the first century, both its author and the Christians who received it were expecting the end of the world to come quite soon. They expected that Christ would soon return, and the Kingdom of God would be inaugurated. It could be any day now, and many of them hoped it would be sooner rather than later. “But in the meantime,” the Christian leader explains, “there are ways you should be living… ways you should be spending your time… and other ways that you shouldn’t.”
“Be careful… how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time…” the letter encouraged them. “Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord” and live accordingly. And if you’re not sure what is pleasing to God, here are some pointers: “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for … Read more »