06/25/2020 Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season) by Pastor Katie

Paraphrased from Ecclesiastes 3, The Byrds song “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)” has been ringing in my ear since our May council meeting, when that scripture served as our devotion before the meeting. 

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap

A time to kill, a time to heal

A time to laugh, a time to weep

Those who know me, know that I’m a planner, I’m a list-maker, and I love checking items off of my to-do list. In this season of COVID-19, I’m still making lists and checking items off, but I’m finding it nearly impossible to make plans, at least not anything beyond this week and the next.

What will things look like two weeks from now? A month from now? Six months from now? The honest answer is: I don’t know. We don’t know. 

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

If I’m going to be completely honest with myself, even in my pre-Covid life, I never knew what would be coming in a month or six months. Somehow, though, it was different. No, I didn’t know what was coming around the corner, but it was still with a realm of fathom-ability—that’s a new word I just came up with to say, I could fathom/dream/imagine other possible curveballs. 

COVID-19, has shaken up any sense of planning and possible curveballs that I could or can imagine. It has pulled the rug out from under me and left me reaching for ways to ground and upright myself. 

It has also brought me to a new level of humility – I don’t know how to plan right now, which means I don’t know how to control things right now, which means I’ve got to trust God in a whole new way. 

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate

A time of war, a time of peace

A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

As a Lutheran, I don’t believe that God causes the suffering and pain as either punishment or as a tool for growth, but rather, I believe God is present in the pain, the sorrow, and the suffering. 

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose

A time to rend, a time to sew

A time to love, a time to hate

A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

I know this song is from 1965, so it was in the midst of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, so that is the reference for the final line, “A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.” For me, however, today, I hear it as a gentle reassurance, that peace is possible, the peace within. The peace that comes from God. 

No matter how much planning and list-making I ever did, I was never actually in control, it was just an illusion of control. With that illusion stripped away, I find myself at a place of humility and in deep need of God’s reassurance. 

The Apostle Paul said, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

God’s peace be with you all.

Pastor Katie


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