Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 When Pete Seeger wrote the lyrics to the song “Turn, Turn, Turn,” he quoted the first half of today’s reading. Many people my age will remember the song, but maybe some people who are younger will as well. The song and the reading from Ecclesiastes remind us of the transitory nature of existence, that there is a time for each thing, for everything, but the time passes. Yet it is the second part of the reading that really matters more to us.
Søren Kierkegaard once wrote of a strange break‑in at a large store in his native Denmark where the thieves didn’t remove anything. When clerks opened up in the morning, all the merchandise was still there. Instead of stealing the goods, the thieves had stolen value. They had switched all the price tags, so that the worth of each item had no relation to its price: a diamond necklace valued at $2; a pair of leather shoes for 50¢; a pencil selling for $75, and a baby’s rattle with $5,000 on the sticker.
Bob Ove Mark Ellingsen Bonnie Bates Frank Ramirez Bill Thomas Ron Love
Job 1:1; 2:1-10 How often in the troubles of our lives do we fail to perceive the presence of God? We look, as Job did, to the right and to the left, and we do not feel God or see God. Yet, it may be that we are looking outside for the presence of God, rather than internally. Job is discouraged. He cannot feel the presence of God. He looks forward and backward, but not inward.
I was watching yet another television programme on near-death experiences. They are rather fascinating, not least because Christianity has been telling the world for the last 2,000 years that we live on in a new kind of life after death, yet these programmes make it sound as if this incredible thought is new.
In this particular programme, all but one of those who had "died" had found it a very enriching experience. They all described a feeling of such love and peace suffusing them that they didn't want to return
Before there was Harry Potter, there was Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit. In J. R. R. Tolkien's wise fantasy, this short, hairy-footed resident of the Shire in Middle-Earth was a well-to-do bachelor and country squire. Comfortable and conventional, but just a touch bored with life, he nevertheless was shocked when the mysterious wizard, Gandalf, knocked on his door one spring morning and requested his services as (of all things) a thief. The clever, nimble-fingered hobbit was just the person to help a struggling band of dwarves reclaim their treasure from a greedy dragon.