“To everything there is a season…

RAMBLING RECTOR

Church buildings are once again closed for public worship, with limited opening for Private Prayer. I will continue to send a short reflection, for those of you who must continue to ‘shield’. It will be based on the Sunday readings.

 

 

SUNDAY 15 November 2020

 

1 Thess 5.1-11

1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety’, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

 

Matthew 25.14-30

14 ‘Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 ‘After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.”

21 ‘His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

22 ‘The man with two bags of gold also came. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with two bags of gold: see, I have gained two more.” 23 ‘His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

24 ‘Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”

26 ‘His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. 28 ‘“So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 

Reflection

 

The United States President-Elect, Joe Biden recently referred to a passage from Scripture, from the Book of Ecclesiastes…

 

“To everything there is a season… a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow, a time to heal.” And he concluded with hopeful words… “This is the time to heal in America.”

 

Please God that may be so for that troubled nation.

 

There are ‘seasons’ in all our lives. Not just the seasons of the changing year, but our own ‘seasons of life’ – our childhood, our youth (misspent or otherwise!). There are the seasons of early adulthood, the experiences varying for each one of us maybe of building a career, taking on duties and responsibilities in church, raising a family, travelling widely perhaps.  Then there is the season of retirement, of lessening family responsibilities, more time to pursue personal interests and hobbies.  There are seasons when we face health issues or lessening strength and energy.

 

So when we read the words in today’s passage from the Letter to the Thessalonians about the times and dates of the Lord’s coming ‘like a thief in the night’, we too might wonder about that elusive sense of “Peace and Safety”?  

 

Certainly, with the uncertainties of the year that has gone by, we might wonder where any sense of peace and safety went,.  It is tempting to look with nostalgia at last Christmas time, when none of us had heard of Covid and we could meet friends for a cuppa or a nice meal out, go shopping, plan holidays, sing Christmas carols, hug our grandchildren. Maybe we didn’t appreciate those things at the time.

 

Nearly a year on, life for all of us feels much more uncertain, more insecure, more unsafe.  For some the circumstances threaten their homes and their livelihoods as well as their health.  So is that old sense of peace and safety and security now endlessly elusive? That we can never again feel comfortable and confident in the future?

 

Here is the truth of the passage then - locating our sense of peace and security in the things of the world, in health and wealth, is a risky thing to do.  The only truly safe place is in the knowledge that God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.”

That truth is where our riches lie.

 

In these times that feel so dark, let us encourage each other with this truth.


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Page last updated: 14th November 2020 10:50 PM