There’s a Right Time for Everything
There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (MSG)
This piece of scripture is familiar. But…is this the translation you know? Perhaps not. Perhaps instead of the words “For everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven” is more familiar to you. I must admit, in these current times, I prefer The Message translation of this piece of scripture. “There is a right time for everything.” Meaning, God provides the right time for EVERYTHING, we just need to be open to when that is.
What have you learned during this “safe at home” time? What “right” moments have you found yourself in and what has taken place? I bet you’ve been a bit like me. There have been times to cry and times to laugh. I hope you’ve found time each day to laugh for without laughter we forget the joy God provides. Our days have been filled with limited moments to embrace and many to part. Babies have not ceased to be born and moments for others to join God in eternity have been plenteous. In my mask making effort, I had many a time to rip out, but much more time to mend and sew.
As we venture to re-open the physical space we call God’s Church, may we recognize that there truly is a time for EVERYTHING! In that, we must be mindful that just because we find ourselves in one time, doesn’t mean others aren’t there with us. It may be the right time for me to cry and you to laugh, or for me to hold on and you to let go.
So, whether you are ready for us to gather together again or whether the simple thought of such an encounter causes deep anxiety….know that God understands. In these times, we have remained the church! It’s just that the church looks very different than it used to look. Going forward…moving to a time and place where we can all be safe together again, let us be mindful that God’s church will look very different.
Zion’s leadership has been working hard. Hard to remain faithful and faith-filled! We are moving into unchartered waters. The good news is, God goes with us to captain the boat. The waters may seem rocky…but if we move forward one moment at a time, the way will be straight as we follow the guidance of our Savior.
“ZION’S PEACE” CHALLENGE!
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)
Have you ever thought much about these words? Have you ever pondered the meaning behind why we take time in our worship services to pass the peace? Some likely think it’s strictly social in nature. For some congregations, it’s a time to roam around (as sitting, standing, kneeling bodies need a stretch) and greet EVERYONE in the room. For others, it appears to be more of an inconvenience and a time consumer.
There really is true meaning as to why we do this. Why we, “Pass the Peace”. Mankind has a deep desire for peace. Peace is rest, wholeness, filled with goodness and calm. God’s Word resonates, PEACE! One of God’s many promises is to give us peace, in the now and for all eternity!
We have begun the reopening plan for Zion. As we have posed the question, will you be different, it is impossible to refrain from asking our churches the same question. If we are honest and true to God’s desire, we continue to learn, grow, and yes, even change. Therefore, when we find ourselves on the other side of the COVID-19 health crisis, it is paramount that we find ourselves changed. That we find our churches (God’s people) changed, for the better!
A Task Force has been formed who will aid us in the transition back to in-person gatherings, including worship. This is going to take time, patience, and creativity. There will be aspects of our church life that MUST be done differently.
One of those is the “Passing of the Peace.” We are family. Every family has stories, sayings, manners, and traditions that are a part of who they are. I would like to encourage each of you to help our Zion Family create a new manner (no physical contact) to share God’s peace. Pray, think on it, ponder, discuss it with others, research and help Zion design its own unique way of sharing God’s peace.
It is in times like these that we are often drawn to our roots and history, but it is also a time for us to discover new ways to be God’s Children. I have appointed a team of judges who will evaluate “Zion’s Peace” entries. We will evaluate over Zoom, as we are able. Once “Zion’s Peace” is determined, we would love for its creators to teach our Zion family in a “how-to video”. Do NOT let technology concerns overwhelm your desire to participate in this challenge. We will help or workaround technology as is needed or necessary. Entries may be submitted to Pastor Kris at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have access to email, please leave a message on her voicemail at Zion; 419-433-4711 ext. 1 and she will connect with you. Join the challenge and share God’s peace with the world!
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)
Blessings of Peace,
Alive & Breathing!
Near the end of February, I heard a song on my car radio. I turned the volume up and let the words fly high. I immediately went to my office and looked the song up on the internet, so I could hear the entire song. Matt Maher sings “Alive & Breathing” (lyrics by Matt Maher & Elle Limebear) The words hit me, hard. I’ve always been an optimist. I actually find it difficult to comprehend negativity. I’m a “glass-half-full” person, no doubt! I might even err to ¾ full.
The further we travel in this “safe at home” time of our lives, the more I am drawn to this song. For me lyrics are key, but when the melody is spot on and induces great emotion, it’s hard for me to stop singing.
The lyrics make us want the world to join with me in being positive…regardless of what is happening. As God’s beloved Children, we’ve got a LOT to be thankful for!
Read the chorus here:
Joy still comes in the morning
Hope still walks with the hurting
If you're still alive and breathing
Praise the Lord
Don't stop dancing and dreaming
There's still Good News worth repeating
So lift your head and keep singing
Praise the Lord!
OR…better yet…to hear this amazing song visit https://youtu.be/gYUJjsgd96k