Autumn: the leaves are changing, the harvest is coming, and we are given the opportunity to be thankful to God for his many blessings.
As I ponder God’s incredible love and support, I am reminded of a song by the Byrds, entitled “Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything there is a Season).” The lyrics actually come from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, an Old Testament book of the Bible:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
From the time of Ecclesiastes to now, these words continue to resound in all societies. At a time when we have the means to save life, and even to communicate instantaneously from one end of the world to the other, we hear the rumblings of persecution, war, and even hatred and people acting out on that hatred with the idea that taking a life can be justified. As the fathers and mothers pray in monasteries throughout the world , we as Orthodox Christians should join them in praying for peace, love, and understanding.
My prayer is that we will all join and all pray for God’s blessing upon those suffering throughout the world, and that we will take the time to not only bring in the harvest that God has given us, but will also be inclined to share that harvest through generous service and donations to help those who are less fortunate.