I'm up early this morning. I was writing a short congratulatory message to be printed in a brochure commending a theological conference that is taking place in Korea next month to honour the contribution of Reformed Theology in shaping the Christian church in Korea. John Ross the 19th century missionary from Nigg Bay was the first to translate parts of the New Testament into Korean. The conference is being held to commemorate his contribution to the Korean Church.
I have been reflecting further on my message and the importance of reformed theology to Christian thought in general. It seems to me it invites us to not only engage with "God's Word" intellectually as an exercise of faith but it forces us into action. It demands that we engage with its meaning,( I mean the Bible), in the context of our lives and our communities as they are at present. Theology cannot be an intellectual pursuit that is carried out in a vaccum separated from the world. locked into a time warp. It is a pursuit that draws us into the joy and pain and the discomfort of life, past present and future. Theology invites us to listen and reflect on what we consider to be the voice of God being echoed back into time and space. It is an ongoing dialogue of the generations. As one generastion speaks to another projecting continuiity and sometimes disconnnect into the future.
This week the passage we will be thinking about on Sunday is found in Ecclesiasties Chapter 3. It is a famous poem that has been around for a few thousand years yet it still reflects the truth of all of our lives. The passage invites us to consider the importance and relevance of time and its context and our responsibility to enjoy and embrace life even in the midst of continual disconnect and change.
Ecclesiastes 3 New International Version (NIV)
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.