by Rev. Steve Zimmerman
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and time to give up, a time to keep and time to throw away,
a time to tear and time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time for hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)
One lesson I think we all have learned in the last two years of the pandemic has been the appreciation of time. We have been forced to slow down and re-evaluate nearly everything under the heavens. We have seen our share of refraining from embraces, weeping, mourning, and deaths brought upon by COVID-19. Let’s not forget about the Great Resignation either that has affected even those in ministry. In the past few weeks, we have now seen people being uprooted and killed in the Ukrainian war. To make matters worse, as we start to re-orient ourselves to a post-pandemic lifestyle and make plans with our church calendars, we hear the old Steve Miller Band song, Fly Like An Eagle, with those words, “time keeps on slipping into the future.”
However, there have been some good things that have come out of this experience! We heard that people were creative and found new ways to love each other even in isolation. There are new ministry opportunities that have evolved in large part because churches came to the realization of how they needed to use their time more wisely with the help of technology. Some churches and ministers found a new voice to speak out against the social evils of our world.
Now that we seem to be on the back side of the pandemic, it may be a good time to ask yourself and your church how you will spend your time. How will you help mend lives that have been torn apart in the past two years? What steps are you taking to heal broken lives? What ministries are you going to keep and what are you going to throw away? What new ideas will you continue? Your response to and time spent on these needs are everything!
We also have hope in time. As Easter people we can embrace the thought that there will be a time when our weeping will turn into laughter and new life will come after death. Folks, that will be worth our time to dance for joy!
These thoughts above are from Rev. Steve Zimmerman, the founding partner in the ministry. He works alongside churches in their mission process and small group dynamics. He coordinates the work of the partnership out of Danville, Virginia. Contact him for more information about how he can help you.