Saint James Anglican Church

Joseph Howe Drive at the Armdale Rotary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada             


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Harvest 2006

 

"For everything there is a season a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted." -Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 (-NRSV)

 

Very early the week following the Labour Day, we were driving east through Quebec and northern New Brunswick. We were on our way back home to Nova Scotia. It is a drive familiar to a great many people. Wendy and I have made this trip a number of times. In fact, we made the trip at a more leisurely pace, several weeks prior, during summer holidays. The beautiful scenery of the St. Lawrence and northern New Brunswick was much the same in September as it had been in July. However, those "low lying areas" you hear about had already experienced frost. There were subtle indications that the trees were turning color. One season was in the early stages of giving birth to another. Not only that, but traffic was much lighter than it had been in July. Clearly, the tourist season was slowing down. The fall was hinting its impending arrival. Each season brings change with its presentation. Yet the seasons themselves unfold within the predictable pattern of nature. Pursuits, adventures and tasks may vary from one season to another. However, the variations in our life unfold within the action of the larger human drama.

 

The Book of Ecclesiastes has preserved for us a well-loved poem, "For everything a season a time for every purpose under heaven". At first glance it seems like common sense. There are good times and bad times. There are Times to speak and times to keep silence, times to mourn and times to dance. However, the ancient sage who preserved this poem for us was well aware that the changing scenes of life must be understood within the larger setting of God's love and purposes. The same writer who praises a time for everything also writes; "I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it". (3:14).

 

Many people are attending, quite literally, to the demands of the season. It is time to return to work, or to greet the first fall of retirement. It is time to go back to school, or to have a child move off to work or study. It is time to start a child in pre-school or Sunday school, or to begin that new job. It is time to re-engage the activities of church, home, office, and community. Many people are making challenging transitions at this time. Some transitions may be filled with excitement. Some transitions may engender feelings of anxiety. Indeed, as we are often reminded, and perhaps feel, our whole world seems to changing ---sweeping us along in the process.

 

We may be engaging changes that the fall season brings to social activities. We may be trying to engage the swirling turbulent world. We may be entering a new season of life. As we contend with all of these, let's not forget the nature of God's enduring and steadfast love. As we tackle the changes and chances of this life, may the love of Christ, who describes himself as the beginning and fulfillment of all things, sustain us.

 

The Rev. Canon Rod Gillis