By: Christiana Lundholm
Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, John 12:27-36, Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
There are a lot of small moments in today’s readings that would make fertile soil for a reflection on resilience, but when I turned to the reading from Ecclesiastes, I knew this was where I wanted to focus my time. If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to read the whole thing through slowly, and really let it sink in. I’ve sometimes heard this passage read in a way that suggests we should just be resigned to whatever comes along, because after all, everything has its time. Going through a rough patch? Oh well, that’s just the way it is, must be a time to weep. But reading it in the context of a reflection on resilience, the words fall into my heart very differently. What if it is really telling us to take note of the shape of our present moment, and ask questions about what a “right response” might be? Is it time to clear stones out of a field as we get ready to plow? Or is it time to gather stones to build a foundation? Is it time to seek a new friend, or a new experience? Or is it time to let go of something we have been hanging on to for too long? Is it time to mourn with the deep pain in our world? Or is it time to dance because the rhythm is so strong and we just can’t help ourselves? Perhaps even mourning and dancing, both at once? It seems to me that this wisdom is what enables true resilience in our own lives and the lives of our communities – the discernment to know what is needed in each moment and the grace to do it, whether that be weeping or laughing, breaking down or building up, keeping silence or speaking.
Loving God, help us to be present to what you ask of us in each moment today, and grant us the strength to respond in ways that build up the life of our community. Amen