Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 (NIV)
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent 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 do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
This famous and popular passage is the traditional reading for New Year’s Day. So much of life is recognizing “What time is it?” As you reflect on your past year, and look forward to 2017, what sort of time will it be? A time to build up? A time to dance? This passage also shows that in this life, joy and success will always be mixed with sorrow and challenges. Think of how often you complain or are frustrated when things go wrong. Then think of how much less frustrated you would be, if you accepted in advance that we will have ups and downs, until we are gathered into the fullness of God’s Kingdom. Pray for the spiritual poise to serve and praise God in all circumstances.