Zeph Daily 9

Autumn ZephDaily

Morning! It’s Julia at Zeph@10 today. Hello to you.

Question: what is your favourite season? I have a theory that people tend to like the season their birthday is in best – maybe subconsciously they associate it with something good. Mine is autumn.

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Traditionally my least favourite season is spring, because I feel like it’s pretty wet but without the cosiness of winter. However, in recent years I’ve realised that’s a pretty miserable way of looking at it (especially last year when we seemed to skip spring, and I found I missed it and felt disorientated for half the year!). There’s loads of things I realise I love about spring, like evening light, the scent of the air and flowers. Really I think each season has its hardships and its blessings.

I wanted to look at Ecclesiastes 3.1-14 this morning, where the author talks about there being a season for everything in life. Have a read if you like!

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There’s a few things I take from this passage. We’re currently in a very strange season- just a season, so it won’t last forever, but it is different and disorientating all the same. It brings with it various levels of hardship depending on the person and the situation.

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In saying that everything has a season, the author encourages us to accept our current situation first, acknowledging it for what it is. Even though we might naturally have “a desire to know the future” (verse 11), the task we face is the here and now, without having to know the whole picture, and that’s enough for the time being.

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The book of Ecclesiastes, where this passage comes from, is impressively, splendidly, miserable. Everything is useless and/or bad in some way. For a disillusioned reader it is either cathartic or going to make things MUCH worse – there is a time to read Ecclesiastes and a time to absolutely NOT do that.

This passage, in the midst of misery, is the author finding meaning in the idea that God is in control. I also found that the author seemed to keep returning to the same idea: the best thing is for people to eat, drink, and be happy in their work, which are gifts from God. Whatever your opinions on eating, drinking and working might be, my interpretation of this is that enjoying the small, “trivial” things matters.

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In other words, whatever season we are in, within that time God can give us the gift of peace, even through the smallest means. Most evenings in my house recently, we tend to go a small walk. If I’m honest I can rarely be bothered to go before we’ve set off, but once we’re out I’m always grateful we did. Peace can be a moment, watching the sunset reflect off the still waters of the canal. It can be spending time with people who mean a lot to us. It can be getting stuck into a long forgotten hobby – the author later says it is good when people don’t have time to worry because God keeps them busy with what they love to do.

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These moments of peace are important. And when we find ways to share this peace with other people, it becomes strength. Ecclesiastes 4.12 says a rope that is woven of 3 strands is hard to break.

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Let’s pray that God will be with us during this season. We pray for God’s help for those who this will be a particularly hard season for.

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Let’s pray for God to help us have peace within this season. We pray for glimpses of God today.

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And finally, let’s pray for God to give us enough strength to give light to others in any way we can.

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Amen! Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!

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Yvonne’s up on Zeph@10 tomorrow – see you there!

 

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