6 August, 2023
I remember being asked why a particular event had happened in the life of a congregational member in my first placement. I had no inspirational answer except to say that given who that person was I could not think of a better person to cope with that event.
There are times that telling someone that everything happens for a reason can be very comforting, but it can also challenge us as to why things happen.
Our readings today are two very well-known readings. You may not recognise them from their book name and verse number, but once you hear them you will know them.
Ecclesiastes is not one of the Old Testament books that we read a lot of. That being said, the passage we read this week is very well known. In fact, I can’t read it without hearing the song “Turn, Turn, Turn”. Also known as “To Everything There Is a Season” it was written by Pete Seeger in 1959 and the lyrics consist of the first eight verses of Ecclesiastes chapter 3. It became an international hit in late 1965 when it was adapted by the folk-rock group The Byrds.
These verses speak of a time and reason for everything. We can often hear this read at funerals reminding us that everything has its time. And that God’s time endures forever.
Our Romans reading is also one that is used frequently at funerals. It speaks of God’s purpose and love shown in Christ. The words that ring out for me are in the very last verses – “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (v.38-39)
What amazingly powerful words these are! How comforting, how reassuring, how special they are indeed. All that Christ endured, all that has gone on before him and all that will come in the future were/are to show the love that God has for us all.