Sunday, May 18, 2008

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 week, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance." Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 & 4

This week has been a time for death and mourning in our family. My husband's father died after a long life and 6 months of increasing illness and disability. It was also a time to laugh and share memories and to be with family, which is always good for us even under difficult circumstances. I like the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible because it's a blessing for me to know it's okay to have a dark view of life at times and that one can still worship and hold God in deep reverence from such a perspective. The teacher who is credited as the author sounds much like a modern cynic at times.

I've been reading and contemplating different scripture as I prepare to preach again in a couple of weeks. The scriptures on the lectionary for June 1st have to do with water, and I've been thinking about the fact that to the ancients water was connected with chaos. I guess not just for the ancients as recent events in Myanmar demonstrate and in China where water is adding to the destruction of the recent massive earthquake.

Death is a different type of chaos. Roget's Thesaurus lists disorder, confusion and void as synonyms for chaos. Having lost my mother 15 years ago this month, I think those are all good descriptions of some of what I felt after losing a parent. My husband commented that now he's the old man in his family, as I'm the old woman in mine. I'm grateful for the teacher's writings in Ecclesiastes on the seasons of life and of death. I'm not sure of all that God had in mind when we were created as creatures who die, but I do know that we are all in God's hands and that they are good hands. And I'm content to face the chaos of this life and this world secure in that knowledge.

Grace and Peace,
Donna Sue

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