‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1)
Much as we complain and talk endlessly about the weather, one of the great blessings of living in a
country like ours is to be able to observe the changing of the seasons, a visual reminder, should we
need it, that nothing stands still.
Summer heat (sometimes!) gives way to the distinctive sharpness of autumn and winter cold; long, light evenings shrink to brief, dark afternoons; the trees put on their autumn pageant of reds, golds, oranges and browns before resting again until springtime.
All of this is right and natural and good, as is the cycle of birth, growth, ageing and death, which we share as human beings with every living thing.
It is tragic, of course, and feels wrong when someone dies too young - ‘before their time’ - but there is nothing unnatural or fearful in death itself.
As medical advances prolong life expectancy, and religious rites of passage are increasingly replaced with secular ones, we do perhaps need to remind ourselves that everything - churches, empires, people, joys and sorrows, tragedies and triumphs - has its time and its season, to be welcomed, lived, celebrated and entrusted to the One who does not change and who has promised to be with us always.
Rev. Dr J Mary Henderson,
Minister of Laurieston linked with Redding and Westquarter Church of Scotland