“1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven ...” - Ecclesiastes 3:1 (WEB)
In 1965 the Byrds, released a song called “Turn!, Turn!, Turn!” written by folk artist Pete Seeger. Most of the song is from the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes and was a number 1 hit on the Billboard charts, of December 4, 1965. It was a worldwide hit and has become a classic folk song. According to the website Wikipedia, it holds the record of the US number 1 hit with the oldest lyrics.
God's words still have the power to move and shape people. With the summer season here, let us spread God's word with renewed strength and delight, as we enjoy the season God has for us.
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28 (WEB)
Just north of Bath there is a wheat field, and after the weekend that we had almost 6 inches of rain, that field was flooded, by the Illinois River. At least 10 acres of wheat was now completely under water, and I am no farmer, but I think that is not a good thing. Do you know what the farmer did with that field? He took his bass boat out into it and went FISHING! He was going to get something out of that field, even if it was a few bass and crappie.
God too can turn what looks like a disaster to us, into a blessing. I do not know what God is doing with this pandemic, but I do know it is something good, He has done it before. When the future looked black with Jesus' death on a cross, He turned it into good with His resurrection on Easter morning. I can't wait to see what good He will do during this time of challenge.
31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the time is coming, yes, and has now come, that you will be scattered, everyone to his own place, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble; but cheer up! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:31-33 (WEB)
When I read these verses, I instantly thought, wow, this is for our time. We are scattered all over the town, country and world. We are told to stay in place for another month, by both the Governor and Bishop Beard. Yet we are not alone. We may try to leave Jesus, but he is always there with us. Though we may be in our homes, Jesus is with us. Though the world is troubled, Jesus gives us peace to “overcome the world.” Isn't it great to worship such a powerful and loving God!
11 For behold, the winter is past. The rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth. The time of the singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
- Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (WEB)
I went for a walk on the last Sunday in March and I noticed the “corkscrew willow” in the backyard of the parsonage is budding. The grass is turning green and spring is here. I don't know if the rains are over, but the turtledoves (and other birds) are singing their songs of spring. Flowers are coming up all over the neighborhood. The stay-AT-home order, is not a stay-IN-home order, so get out and enjoy the wonderful creation of God!
2 Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.
- Romans 12:2 (WEB)
Recently, I read an on-line op-ed, in which the writer, an evangelical Republican pastor, said that he could not vote for President Trump. That is not the point of this blog, the point is what happened next. He know that he was going to hear from the Trump supporters, but he was not prepared for the hate that he received from “Christians” The responses were vulgar and vile. This is not a Republican reaction, Bernie Sanders' supporters have been accused of doing the same thing.
We as followers of Christ, are told not to conform to the world. When we live and act and talk like the rest of the world, how does that show Christ's message and love? Those of us in Christ are to be transformed by Christ, not the world. We must not act the way all of the others in the world act, but we must be the body of Christ, transform the world.