by Tony Nester

For Everything There Is a Season
Tony R. Nester
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15

This morning I want to explore with you the Bible's teaching that for everything in life there is a season. This is important because so much of life depends upon timing.

Will Willimon is United Methodist minister, author, and teacher at Duke University. He knows that as a teacher there are teachable moments when a student is ready to receive what he has to offer: "that sacred, unknown, moment when the listener becomes a learner, the eyes light up -- you can see it in the eyes -- the heartbeat quickens, and it is the right time."

But then he ruefully admits: "The way I figure it, about eighty percent of what I teach is the right information -- at the wrong time. Oh, to be granted the wisdom to know the right time, when the student is at last receptive, ready to learn that which I am longing to teach. But after two decades of teaching, I know as little how to predict or prepare for that time as I did when I first tiptoed into a classroom as a Freshman." (1).

Timing matters. And the timing that matters most is God's timing. If we live within God's timing then our faith will grow and deepen, even in the midst of difficulties. If we live only by our own sense of timing then we're left on our own and in the end lose everything.

That's the message of today's Scripture from Ecclesiastes.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NRSV) "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: {2} a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; {3} a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; {4} a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; {5} a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; {6} a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; {7} a time to tear, and a time ...

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