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      ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under                   the heavens’:             Ecclesiastes 3 v. 1                                                                      

Once again, we see the seasons changing – Winter is giving way to Spring, just as Spring will pass into Summer, and then Winter will return again.

This chain of events was ordained by God when He created the world we live in.

In 7 days all that was necessary for life on earth came into being, controlled by the Sun during the day and the Moon at night. God is a God of Order and Precision – the earth has an orbit around the Sun and also revolves on its own axis resulting in night and day for each period of approximately 365 days which we describe as a ‘year’. Some of the year is cold and unproductive, whilst some is beautifully warm and fruitful, giving rise to an abundant harvest.

People and places have seasons as well. The writer William Shakespeare described man as having 7 ages: The infant, the schoolboy, then lover, soldier, and so forth until eventually he succumbs to a sad and unseemly end. Early in our lives we seek our identity, we learn to socialise, to form partnerships and maybe have children. We learn about money, find accommodation, choose a career and learn to express our opinions. In some of this we too can be held back; we can experience unhappiness, relationship breakdown, unemployment, sickness or bereavement, and addictions or poverty. We don’t choose such things, but we do have the means to overcome them if we wish.

In the Bible we read about God’s love for His creation: despite allowing the presence of sin to spoil the beauty of His plan for the world, He arranged to pay a price that would set us free from its clutches, and that price was the death of His very own Son Jesus Christ. On Good Friday every year we remember that sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary and the shedding of the blood of a spotless first-born Lamb which was the required price to make amends for the sin which separates us from the presence of our Heavenly Father. This is then followed by the Celebration of Easter, because after 3 days Jesus rose from the dead and came out of the tomb having spectacularly overcome the chains of death!

We too can overcome our circumstances. In Jesus we are created anew, with a fresh hope and a new purpose. With the knowledge that our sins are forgiven we can work to share the Good News of Salvation. We can pray for others in need – we can testify to our experiences of living for Jesus – we can join with others to plunder the gates of hell in order to populate Heaven.

God has a plan and a purpose for your life; he will give you the Spiritual Gifts to make it happen. It may take you out of your comfort zone, it may require learning some new skills, but you will find it rewarding and satisfying to discover that your efforts have resulted in turning around someone’s life, bringing someone joy or hope, and saving someone who would otherwise be condemned to eternal darkness. Jesus is the Light of the World – will you let Him shine through your life?

Richard Greener: Elder