As I am looking ahead to November, I’m writing in October and living in late September. My mind has just accepted that Summer is over and I will not get the garage arranged as I desired, but I am not at all prepared for the reality that Fall is ending soon and Winter is coming. Whether I accept all this is irrelevant to Mother Nature, as the world keeps turning and changing whether I’m ready or not. It’s a fact that this is completely predictable every year, but that is irrelevant to my own sense of timing. I’m not ready for the change, so how can it be happening?
I see other people in my life struggling with time cycles and change as well. James is in his senior year in high school and looking towards college. It is sinking in that he will graduate and be somewhere else next year. Michael began to get upset about school starting about August 1, just to get a jump on hating it. My father has been fighting cancer for many months, and there are times when I think I will not have him in my life much longer. Jeanne’s parents just hit 80 years-old this summer. While they are still vital and skiing from their home in Switzerland, they are beginning to think and plan with the realization that life will soon change for them.
As I think of these time changes, the Byrd’s song “Turn, Turn, Turn” goes through my head (they borrowed it from Pete Seeger, who borrowed it from Ecclesiastes, who may have borrowed it from the Babylonians.) “To every thing, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” The Byrd’s version of the song went to the top of the Billboard charts as the Vietnam War was escalating and two Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated. The world is churning with great events, large and small scale, as I write, and while it is hard to discern the purpose underlying it all, God is there in the midst of change.
November’s lectionary readings underscore this message. By the end of the month we will pass through Thanksgiving and the beginning of Advent. The lectionary prepares us for Jesus’ birth by reminding us of his death and its significance. Jesus answers questions about what life is like in heaven, talks about the destruction of the great Temple in Jerusalem and just before Advent, we will read of Jesus at the Last Supper and Gethsemane. Life was full of rapid and often cataclysmic change in Jesus’ life as well. Through the eyes of faith, change does not have to trouble us, for there is a time and season for everything as we “turn, turn, turn.” Blessings to you as we embrace the change together.
November 7 - All Saints
Luke 22:14 - 23:56
November 28 - First Sunday of Advent