For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
For the last 3 months, the staff of First Pres has provided you with a devotional every weekday. We did this during the quarantine because we wanted to stay more connected to you. But now as we enter summer and a new phase of our response to the Coronavirus, we feel that these devotionals have served their purpose. Judy will offer the last devotional tomorrow.
We know that many of you have appreciated receiving these. I want to thank you for the many kind notes I, and the other writers, have received as a result of putting together these devotionals. For me, writing these devotionals could take anywhere from one hour to six hours depending on the topic and the substance of what I was trying to convey. They have been a true labor of love!
For my last devotional, I would like to part with some words of wisdom from one of my favorite books of the Bible—Ecclesiastes. Authorship of this book is traditionally attributed to King Solomon, but the truth is scholars are not sure who wrote it. In the end, it doesn't matter who penned the book because the wisdom it conveys is universal.
In perhaps the most famous chapter from the book, the author tells us that there is a season for everything under the sun. For instance: a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak (Ec. 3:6-7).
Seasons come and go throughout every generation. For us, we could add a verse about Corona virus. There’s a time to remain quarantine and a time to wear masks. There’s a time to stay home and at time to go out. As our economy begins to ramp up again and people begin to go out, my prayer is that we, as a society, will continue to use an abundance of caution until there is a vaccine or effective treatment.
I can tell you that I’ve used the quarantine to spend a lot of time reflecting on my life. In particular, I have been contemplating my seven year tenure at First Pres: What have I accomplished? How have I failed? Where have I really excelled? Where do I need to improve? I try to look at every angle—my decisions, my words, my actions and my inaction.
Perhaps the most important of all the revelations I have had is how much I have come to love this community. I have invested in you and, in turn, you have invested in me. The vast majority of the people in our community have hearts of gold and want to make a real positive difference in the world. I can see how you want to be a Matthew 25 community.
So as I end my devotional time, I want you to know how much I love you all. The relationship we have built together soothes my soul and I look forward to the opportunity to walk alongside you through many more seasons. Stay strong! Stay safe! And remember, this community needs you as much as you need it!