Living in the light of eternity

December 6, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

1 There’s a season for everything
and a time for every matter under the heavens:
2 a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,
3 a time for killing and a time for healing,
a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
4 a time for crying and a time for laughing,
a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
5 a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
6 a time for searching and a time for losing,
a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
7 a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
8 a time for loving and a time for hating,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from all their hard work? 10 I have observed the task that God has given human beings. 11 God has made everything fitting in its time, but has also placed eternity in their hearts, without enabling them to discover what God has done from beginning to end.

Reflection Questions

George Bailey contrasted his father’s life and “wealth” with Mr. Potter’s, saying, “Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be!” * Potter attained his wealth solely at the expense of others. George’s father (and George) lived lives full of ups and downs, helping and serving others. When we view life in the light of eternity, George was right. Thousands of years ago, Ecclesiastes said God has “placed eternity” in human hearts, that God means for us to live in the light of eternity.

  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 used 14 pairs of contrasts (7X2). The number seven often meant completeness to ancient Hebrews, so the use of the doubled number showed life’s full span. The message was that none of our life’s seasons is left out of God’s mission to restore our broken world’s wholeness. What season(s) of life are you in? What good or difficult characteristics does your current season hold? Can you trust that God is at work in every season of your life, including this one?
  • Verse 11 said God “has placed eternity” in our hearts. An eternal perspective on life offers hope. But though God has placed eternity in our hearts, God has not revealed all the answers to life’s questions. We need faith to choose to find peace in God’s eternally good plan, even without all the answers. Does an eternal perspective encourage you, or are you frustrated that you can’t know everything about your future? Bring your hopes, fears, and even frustrations to God in prayer.
Prayer

Lord God, thank you for promising to be with me through all of life’s ups and downs. Teach me to live in the light of your eternal goodness. Amen.

© 2022 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

GPS Insights

Lydia Kim

Lydia Kim serves as one of the pastors of Connection and Care at Resurrection Leawood. An avid believer that growing in faith pairs well with fellowship and food, she is always ready for recommendations on local restaurants and coffee shops.

I’m going to be 100% honest with you and tell you I used to hate today’s GPS Scripture passage. I would always get it stuck in my head because a band used this passage to create a very catchy song! The lyrics would “turn” around in my head (pun intended). I hated that everything “bad” in this passage was happening in my life and none of the “good.” At my lowest, I couldn’t see or feel God’s redemptive power of new life, building up, laughter, or dancing. Most days, I felt numb, and when I did feel, the grief was overwhelming.

Eternity was on my mind, but not in the way that the writer of Ecclesiastes intended. Thankfully, there were those in the church who could see I was in a season of significant loss and mourning. Even though I tried my best to hide and ignore it, they could tell something was wrong. When I had lost hope, they saw God at work. They extended hope to me until I could see and feel it myself.

Looking back, I can see how God took my grief and pain and turned it into something good. I couldn’t see it then, but God was working through my friends and family, through their prayers and gift of presence, to remind me of God’s peace and love. God is in the business of turning darkness into light, healing the sick, and restoring the brokenhearted. Mark 12 says we are called to love God with will all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Are you going through a season of hardship, or do you know someone who is? What would it be like to live in the light of eternity by living out the call to love God and neighbor? I pray that you won’t hesitate to be an angel, a messenger of God’s love and good news, to someone who might need a bit of hope this season.