For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8)

The more we advance in technology and scientific understanding, the more we need to go back and reflect on our roots. The advancements that were predicted and lauded when I was growing up don’t seem to have come to pass. Moreover, it seems that in the future that is our present, we have more problems than we did in the past.

What gain have the workers from their toil?
I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.
He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Verses 8 – 11)

Have we, society that is, advanced so far that we no longer feel we have the need for the Divine? Or have we re-cast the Lord God as the ruler over the world that we want and have created?

The world has changed so much, and as each year passes I think we have drifted further from where we should be. But . . . . . that is a very pessimistic outlook. And I know that it is not really true. There are authentic Christians who are hanging on – sometimes by their fingertips – to the Christian life has lived and exemplified by Jesus Christ. And there are people who may not espouse a faith under the name of Christian but have all the hallmarks of that label of Christian saint. There is hope, and I really do see it each day.

“I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.” (Verses 12 – 13)

What work shall we do then? What work would bring glory to the Divine, and show the world what it means to live in Jesus Christ’s foot steps?

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25: 31 – 40)

It is, beloved reader, a broad scope of work. And not all of it done directly. There are many needs, and many different types of needs. We can not know or predict how our actions may further the work of tending to others. But I am convinced if we hold another’s best good in our hearts and minds, the work we do will be of a benefit.

“Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Verses 41 – 46)

In the same way, if we turn away when someone is in need – whatever that need may be – it is as if we turned away from the Lord God. In our modern world needs come in many guises, as do the ways to help others. Do not turn away from a need & an opportunity to help another. If you lead with compassion and care, seeking the best for those around you, you will not go amiss in your outreach.

May you, beloved reader, move into this New Year with hope for the future while being grounded in the holy spiritual past. May you give hope to others, in supporting them in meeting their needs. And may you see the hope that you believe in! Selah!