Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 4: Year 2
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 to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8)
[Ok, so before I get into my scriptural pondering for today I need to share my thoughts about the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. That death at the hands of police has caused major protest across America and with it much violence and vandalism. That latter part, violence and vandalism, is very shameful.
This is particularly hard for me because I don’t believe in race. I think it is a human construct and a way to label people and limit resources based on what people look like. An anthropologist told me long ago that if you even use the term “race” you are a racist. So there is me, and then there is all the rest of the mostly racist world. Some of us are dark, some are light. Some are course, some are fine. All are God’s and all are needed. That we separate ourselves based on how we look is also very shameful. I have a Baptismal Covenant that requires me to respect the dignity of EVERY human being. And I will strive to do just that until I am taken into that Spirit (non racial) world from which no one returns. And that’s all I have to say about that.]
Now to Ecclesiastes:
Personally I don’t believe there is ever a time to hate. I could probably deal with the rest of the verses. Having said that, I believe I could engage in war for a just cause and yet, not hate the people I am fighting.
I am in the process of writing a short book about our stations in life. I have developed an acronym for it. It is SPERC (sounds like “SPERK”) It stands for Study, Practice, Exercise, Rest and Chores. At no time during the day can I be found not existing in one of these states of being.
As I am doing this writing I am in study. Study also includes prayer and all pondering. Practice includes those activities that I do with my hands like playing music, practicing golf and other activities in which skill can be developed. Exercise is about my daily physical exercises that I believe most people don’t do. I find that by doing regular exercises I maintain my ability to fulfill other parts of my SPERC program. Rest includes all peaceful states of being and most especially sleep. And lastly there are Chores. Chores are those activities necessary to maintain personal and environmental upkeep like cooking, driving, cleaning the house, cutting the grass and all other necessary activities for healthy living.
I am retired now from being the Rector of St Paul’s in the Pines Episcopal Church. But I have plenty to keep me busy. Writing (Study) is one of those states of my SPERC being. There is never a moment in my day that I am not in one part or another of my SPERC self. The writer of Ecclesiastes is correct; there is a time for every matter under heaven.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John