Lent’s lesson: A time to every purpose, under heaven

“There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance…

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak …” 

— Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

“To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap” … 

— “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (1965 by the Byrds)

As I was thinking about a rambling for Lent, this song by Pete Seeger made popular in 1965 by the Byrds kept going through my mind. As I considered it, I began to realize that this memory reflected growth – my own growth and understanding from that time in my life. I grew up without a family tradition of participation in Lent. I don’t remember if our Presbyterian church observed Ash Wednesday, but my friend Larry was a Catholic, and he did. I don’t think that as a youth I even wondered about Lent; after all, the few times that I went to church with Larry, well, it was confusing.

I have grown to appreciate the preparation that the process of Lent provides us. Some of us give up one thing or another for Lent; I have not been successful doing that. But I have learned to take time, spiritual time, to study and ponder the meaning of the approaching Easter celebration, and the cost of that historic event. During those years of growth I have realized that we each take a different path. We are each on our own personal journey to understand what God, and God’s Grace, means to each of us. I think how boring life would be if every meal tasted the same. If for every meal we used the same ingredients and the same seasonings, how tasteless that would become! We need variety in our meals and in our life experiences. We need variety! The Biblical teachings that I need may not meet your needs. The Biblical teachings I needed 40 years ago may not meet my needs today. The stranger that I meet tomorrow may bring a new perspective to my life; a new spice to add variety to my way of thinking.

I pray that each of you may open your eyes and mind so that you may meet that new person; that you may listen to that stranger and understand their different point of view. I pray that each of you may enjoy the opportunity that spring gives each of us to prepare for the Gift of Easter.

— Bob Beck, former layleader, Ebbert Methodist Church



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos