Category Archives: Weekly Meditations

Knowing When and How to Speak

This week in our study of Living Fully All the Times and Seasons of Life we come to the difficult challenge of Knowing When and How to Speak. Verse 7 reminds us that “There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Often the wisest thing is to say nothing; at other times, it is to speak.  But if we do speak, it is not just what we say but when and how we say it.  Context, timing, and tone all matter.  Our words have power to hurt or heal, to tear people apart or sew them together.  May God grant us the wisdom to know when and how to speak.

 peace, Ernie

A Time to Sort and Declutter

When I read in Ecclesiastes 3:6 that “There is. . . a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away” I immediately thought of the difficult task of sorting through all the stuff of our lives, our possessions, habits, commitments, and beliefs to decide which to keep because they are still useful, true and bring us joy and love, and which to discard and throw away because they are unhelpful, false, or bring little joy or love.  Yes, even though many of us have trouble sorting and decluttering our lives, I believe there is a time to sort and “throw away.”   I am encouraged to do this by this quote from Peter Walsh, “What I know for sure is that when you declutter – whether it’s on your home, your head, or your heart – it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life, and your family.”  May God grant us the wisdom to sort and declutter our lives.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on A Time to Sort and Declutter

When to Gather and When to Embrace

This week in our study of Ecclesiastes 3, Living Fully All the Times and Seasons of Life, we come to verse 5.  “There is . . .  a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.”  Since Bible scholars aren’t sure exactly what Koheleth intended here we are free to let our imaginations go and “play” with this text.  During the covid-19 pandemic, both our gathering and our embracing, which we took for granted, became problematic, and at times even prohibited.   When should we gather? When should we embrace?  May God grant us the wisdom to discern the times and fully live all the times and seasons of our lives.

peace, Ernie

A LIFE FULLY ALIVE

To me our text this week from Ecclesiastes 3:4 is about living fully all the emotionally charged moments of our lives, both the times of crying and grieving and the times of laughter and joy.  If we live a full life we will experience all of theses things, sometimes even in the same day!  Rabbi Shapiro says, ““The key to living well is remembering that nothing lasts. Holding that key, we simply respond honestly and cleanly to whatever comes our way.  We do not fear suffering when it comes, because we know that it cannot last.  We do not dampen our joy by worry whether or not it will end; we know it will end, and thus see it as all the more precious.  When we hurt or are sad or depressed, we simply live out those sensations.  They will pass. Everything does. . . The foolish cling to moments of joy and thus make moments of sorrow all the more painful.  The wise rejoice when happy and cry when sad.  Clinging to neither, they leave no moment unlived and die without regret.”  (The Tao of Solomon, p.102, Ecclesiastes: Annotated and Explained, p.64)  May God grant us the wisdom and courage to fully live all the times and seasons of our lives.

peace, Ernie

To  listen to my message, just click on A Life Fully Alive

 

What Do We Do Now?

Ecclesiastes says that life presents us with a series of contrasting moments (3:1, 2b-3) – “Moments of planting and moments of reaping;  moments of killing and moments of healing; moments of demolition and moments of building.”  Our challenge is to discern what is called for in each moment, time and season, and only “act when the time is ripe.”  May God grant us the courage and the wisdom to fully live all the times and seasons of our lives.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on What Do We Do Now?

FACING OUR MORTALITY

This week we begin our series Living Fully All the Times and Seasons of Life, pondering the mysteries of birth and death which stand at beginning and the end of our physical lives here on earth.  And not just our own, but everyone’s.  While we may not remember our own birth, perhaps we have been there at the birth of a child or grandchild.  I have been so blessed many times.  Birth reminds us of the fragility and preciousness of life.  As a pastor I have also accompanied many people through the process of dying, and friends and family through the experience of grieving their loved one who has died.   Death is an experience that none of us escape, as Koheleth, the author of Ecclesiastes states again and again (Ecclesiastes 3:19-22; 7:1-4, 15; 9:1-10;).  Denying the reality of death, he says, is absurd.  But facing our mortality can lead us to live fully and value the moments of our life, especially moments of joy and love.  May God grant us the wisdom to fully live all the times and seasons of our lives.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on Facing Our Mortality

Living Fully All the Times and Seasons of Life

This coming Sunday I begin a new series of messages on Living Fully All the Times and Seasons of Life.  Our main texts in the weeks to come will be from the beautiful poem found in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, but on this first week we will look at the first three chapters of Ecclesiastes to provide an overview and context.  May God grant us the wisdom to fully live all the times and seasons of our lives.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on Living Fully All the Times and Seasons of LIfe

Fall Sermon Series Schedule:

September 12, 2021 – LIVING FULLY ALL THE TIMES AND SEASONS OF LIFE (Ecclesiastes 3:1-22)

September 19, 2021 – FACING OUR MORTALITY (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a)

September 26, 2021 – WHAT SHOULD WE DO NOW? (Ecclesiastes 3:1,2b-3)

October 3, 2021 –  EMOTIONAL RESONANCE  (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4)

October 10, 2021 – WHEN TO GATHER AND EMBRACE (Ecclesiastes 3:1,5)

October 17, 2021 – A TIME TO SORT (Ecclesiastes 3:1,6)

October 24, 2021 – KNOWING WHEN AND HOW TO SPEAK (Ecclesiastes 3:1,7)

October 31, 2021 –  DEALING WITH CONFLICT (Ecclesiastes 3:1,8)

 

Psalm 8 – GOD AND HUMANITY WORKING TOGETHER

On this coming Labor Day weekend, I will be preaching on Psalm 8 which describes the creative work of God.  In verses 2&3 the psalmist asks himself, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?”   His conclusion is that humans have been especially gifted by God, and have a special role to play in creation.  May we be faithful and wise in our stewardship of God’s creation.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on God and Humanity Working Together

Taming the Tongue

 

My message this coming Sunday will address the critical issue of the proper use of God’s amazing gift of speech.  Our main scripture for this week, James 3:2-13, underscores how important it is that we control comes out of our mouths (and our keyboards).   What we say and share on social media can be a source of healing and life, or division, conflict, and death.  May God grant us wisdom in what we say and share.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, just click on Taming the Tongue

Counting Our Days

 

This week’s scripture is one of the great psalms of the Bible, Psalm 90.  It is a powerful meditation on human mortality meant to teach us live every moment of our lives, however long they may be, fully and wisely.  You can listen to my message by clicking on this link – Counting Our Days

peace, Ernie