November 02, 2008

Birth and Death

Ecclesiastes 3:1-14

There is a time for everything … a time to be born and a time to die.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2


As we think together this month about life’s contrasts, the teachings of Ecclesiastes can help.

Ecclesiastes teaches that contrasting actions have their own suitable times. That’s why, if you’re a student, there can be a “time” for taking a test and a “time” to relax or watch a ball game.

But there are some contrasts so great that there seems to be no common ground between them.

For example, birth and death are opposite extremes. There is “a time to be born and a time to die.”

Birth and death are the earthly bookends of all of our lives. Unless life is interrupted by the Lord’s return, every one of us will experience both realities. What holds these two extremes together? Ecclesiastes tells us that “there is nothing better” than to have a life that is marked by being happy and doing good.

The advice of Ecclesiastes may seem trite till we remember that true joy and goodness are rooted in a relationship with God. The Lord sustains us through all the contrasting events of a life that runs from birth to death.

Though we are born, and we live, and we die, God has “set eternity” in our hearts. And eternity can best be grasped by those who know Jesus Christ, the eternal Word made flesh. knowing Jesus as our Savior makes all the difference in the world.

O Lord, having formed us, you welcome us into your world at our birth. Sustain us through our life, and uphold us as we pass into eternity at our time of death. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Brink

Rev. Harvey Brink has retired from active ministry in the Christian Reformed Church, having served congregations in Michigan, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Illinois, and
Washington. He and his wife Maxine live near their children and grandchildren in western Washington.

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