Weekly Blog - Catherine Beaumont - Times and Seasons
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Posted on: 11th August 2022
We began our staff prayers this week by reading Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, that oft quoted passage which begins:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Ecclesiastes describes the impermanence and uncertainty of life and reminds us that we should not be surprised when hard times come nor be complacent in the good times. The Gospels also recognise that life can be hard, and warn us that times of war, conflict, and tribulation are inevitable.
The New Testament uses two words for time: Chronos which is time measured in minutes and hours, and Kairos which refers to the age or season. Kairos time must be interpreted and calls for a response. It is a time of opportunity.
How then should we respond to the times we are in now? What opportunities are being presented to us? Should we be building or dismantling? Should we be dancing or mourning? Are we holding on to things that we should let go of?
That we can choose how we respond to Kairos time keeps us from the fatalism that tells us to ‘eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die’ (which sounds like it should be from Ecclesiastes but is actually attributed to Epicurus).
Jesus suggests that we are not very good at reading the signs of the times. So maybe our best course of action, initially at least, is to watch and pray. And I can think of no better prayer for this purpose than the covenant prayer of John Wesley:
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you,
Praised for you or criticized for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and fully surrender all things
To your glory and service.
And now, O wonderful and holy God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
You are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it also be made in heaven.
Catherine Beaumont, LCCT Project Manager