Speer Road Church
(United Reformed Church)
The Last Word
Last word – September 2020
It is interesting to see how certain words have come to the fore during this pandemic, one that I have noticed being used a lot is the word “season”. We usually use that word to refer to part of the year and from a young age we are familiar with the four season, Winter, Spring, Summer Autumn. Officially Summer ends on the 22nd of September and autumn begins, though as I write this in August, I am thinking it feels autumnal now!
In Jo Biden’s speech at the Democratic convention he spoke of ending this “season of darkness”, clearly, he was not talking about one of the four seasons, but a period he wanted people to identify with. Others are speaking of the pandemic as a season, it is a useful word because it describes a period that will come to an end, though of course no one knows when that end will be. The Bible uses the word season to describe parts of the year, and people lived their lives by the seasons far more than we do today. But the word is also used in other ways. The NIV translates 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” Here the word means the right time, so Paul is saying be prepared to preach the word of God whether the time is favourable or not.
By far the most famous passage referring to Season is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 which begins with the words “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” It is a passage whose rhythm has brought comfort and assurance to people in very different situations, and somehow it speaks to all of life. The author sees life as a mystery we don’t know why things happen, but we can believe that God supports and helps us through life, that with God life has a purpose and a goal. God will show us the way through each season of our life, whether we are facing our own personal season or a season together.