Consolation Series - Part 61

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:

a time to be born,
and a time to die;
a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill,
and a time to heal;
a time to break down,
and a time to build up;
a time to weep,
and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn,
and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek,
and a time to lose;
a time to keep,
and a time to cast away;
a time to tear,
and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence,
and a time to speak;
a time to love,
and a time to hate;
a time for war,
and a time for peace.

What profit has he who works in that in which he labors? I have seen the burden which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man can’t find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end.  I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice, and to do good as long as they live. Also, that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy good in all his labor, is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; and God has done it, that men should revere him.  That which is has been long ago, and that which is to be has been long ago. God seeks again that which is passed away.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

Carrying on from yesterday’s existentialist theme, today the Preacher again affirms that there is little we can do that will persevere.  Additionally, everything has its time, nothing is out of place.  I am reminded of the fact that our Creation narrative is not a creation out of nothing, but rather an ordering of Chaos.  God starts with darkness over the Deep, and separates water from earth, earth from sky, and night from day.   When Chaos returns in the form of the Flood, God puts Noah on a life raft and locks the door behind him so that he can float safely over the Chaos until it subsides.  God is with us when Chaos returns.  It, too, has its place and finally has no power over us.

Existentialism has a reputation for gloominess, but for Ecclesiastes, it is all good.  God has made everything beautiful and eternal, regardless of what we may do or not so, so that all of it can be the subject of reverence and rejoicing.