Ecclesiastes 3: 1–8
President-elect Joe Biden picked out some of the words of
Ecclesiastes in the address he made to the American people following
the recent presidential election.
‘The Bible tells us, to everything there is a season; a time to build, a time
to reap and a time to sow, and a time to heal. This is a time to heal…’
Without doubt the right words for the occasion; the 2020 campaign
has been acrimonious, and healing is needed.
I wonder, though, that even as people of hope, who yearn for the light,
we often fail to pause and acknowledge fully times of mourning,
killing, war, weeping.
I certainly see this in myself. I desperately want my parkrun time to
be better than last week; I want this year’s potato harvest to weigh
more than last year’s. I want good results and see setbacks as a minor
blip; an anomaly outside of anything to do with God.
Sometimes, though, we’re not fine; life is rubbish and we have no
words. That is the experience we are living with, living through this
But… the God we worship is a big God who is able and willing to
embrace every setback, wilderness time, disappointment.
God of power,
you are with us at all times and in all situations.
In times of darkness, encircle us with light.
In times of despair, encircle us with hope.
In times of sorrow, encircle us with compassion.
In times of anxiety, encircle us with calm.
In times of doubt, encircle us with faith.
In times of sadness, encircle us with joy.
Hold us in your embrace, we pray. Amen.