Stones Hill Community Church
A Season for Everything
The writer of Ecclesiastes undertook a hugely ambitious life experiment and he made himself the guinea pig, the lab rat. King Solomon had the time, money, and power to pretty much pursue any avenue of life he thought would bring pleasure or satisfaction. Solomon decided to conduct a massive experiment in human happiness and meaning. He became his own test subject, his own lab rat. “I know there is a God, but I’m going to live as if there isn’t and see what that’s like.” He became this mad scientist in search of serum, an antidote to fix him. But nothing was ever enough. He lost sight of the Giver of the Gifts. Have you lost sight of what's important? The theme of the book is a virtual summary of the biblical worldview: life lived by purely earthly and human standards is futile, but the God-centered life is an antidote. Solomon tells us what he wants us to remember when life gets confusing, mysterious, unfair or as black as night - keep your trust in Creator God’s plan. Life in the world has significance only when man remembers his Creator (12:1). Welcome to "A Season for Everything" - Finding Meaning in the Book of Ecclesiastes!
Locations & Times
  • Ligonier, IN
    151 W Stones Hill Rd, Ligonier, IN 46767, USA
    Saturday 6:00 PM
We welcome you to Stone's Hill today!

A typical Stone's Hill service has:

* music (so feel free to sing out);

* some announcements (things that are upcoming that you can be a part of);

* a message out of the Bible (God speaks to us through his Word);

* and an opportunity for you to respond to the message (either immediately in the case of a decision that needs to be made OR in the future as you live out the message in your daily life.)

So relax and enjoy your morning! We're so glad you are here!
Message Text: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
If you will turn to the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon has written a poem about life. In chapter 3:1, you are introduced to the world’s most famous poem on the subject of time and life’s seasons. 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: You'll notice a word that is repeated frequently in our passage today. It's the word time. In fact, in verses 2 through 8, the word is repeated 28 more times.
Life is filled with Ups and Downs; Good Things and Bad Things. Living Between the Extremes is really the title of this message and poem. Man is to take his life day by day from the hand of God (2:24–26; 3:12–13), realizing that God has a fitting time for each thing to be done (v. 1). “Take life as it comes.” Man may see everything as random happenings—determined by the roll of the celestial dice—but the Bible teaches that God has a chosen purpose for everything (Rom. 8:28). The Romans 8:28 of the OT is Ecclesiastes 3:11. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Everything will be “beautiful in His time” (v. 11), even the most difficult experiences of life. And if you become more like Jesus, maybe that’s the most beautiful thing of all.
When you hear these opening lines of Eccl. 3, if you are old enough, you are not thinking about Solomon, you are thinking about Pete Seeger and the Byrd’s singing, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” Ecclesiastes 3 was set to music in the 1950s, with a tune that the Byrds popularized a decade later in their hit single “Turn, Turn, Turn” - reaching number 1 in the USA in December 1965. In fact, Seeger would later send a portion of his royalties to Israel. Evidently, he acknowledged that it was Israel’s former king who wrote the original lyrics clear back in 935 BC. The Byrds 1965 recording of the poem from Ecclesiastes chapter 3 holds the distinction in the United States of being the number one hit with the oldest lyrics.
Life has seasons. We serve a God of seasons just like our earth has seasons. You know the four seasons. The poets and artists love to paint pictures in the mind:
Spring: a season of beginnings Spring brings us rainy weather, bright yellow tulips and cherry blossoms. It brings us hope.
Summer: a season of work Summer comes stealing in with its hot and humid air and caressing breath
Autumn: a season of harvest Fall lingers, patiently waiting in the wings with its golden leaves ready to quickly cover the ground in rich glorious color.
Winter: a season of rest That first blast of cold. Sometimes arriving angry and harsh, hitting fast hard and vicious. But not always; sometimes Winter steps softly, quietly and lays its soft white blanket of snow over towns like a loving mother covering her child.Some of you love winter and are ready to move north if the snowfall lags behind. Some of you hate winter and move south before it gets cold, gray, and frozen where things feel icy and stripped bare.
Life is like this: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. And when it comes to “life winter” it’s a season that is necessary. Seeds need quiet and cold to prepare for germination. Soil needs rest to support new growth. Trees and bushes need winter dormancy before they can be pruned and shaped. Respect the winters of life. Without rest and renewal there is no new life in the spring. Underneath all that snowy ground, things are taking place to prepare for new birth. In this snowy and even muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created.
Has anyone ever told you, just enjoy the season you're in? Usually, it’s someone older or farther along than you, and they've already been through that season. Like maybe their kids are grown, and yours are still at home, so they tell you, “Hey, while you're in that season, enjoy it. And, of course, you want to respond, “That's easy for you to say.” They are 100% right, but we’re actually living it in real time so it feels trite. God brings different seasons into our lives, some that we wish we could stay in forever, and others that we wish we could skip completely. But it takes every season, and living between the extremes, to give you an understanding of what’s important in life.
All of us in this room are in different seasons of our lives. Some are new parents; others have become empty nesters. Some of you have just started a new job, others are hoping to retire. Some of you are dating, some of you are newly married. Some of you are divorced, some are working on a 40-year wedding anniversary. Some of you are new followers of Christ, some of you aren't sure if you're a Christian yet. Some of you are back in church after a long time away, some of you are leaders in our church and have been for years. We're in different seasons.
When it comes to our view of time, we’re all over the place. Some feel “all I have is time”; some will cherish this feeling while others will struggle to overcome boredom in order to feel useful. Others feel awe or loss (“Where did the time go?”), or frustrated fatigue (“There aren’t enough hours in the day.”) or purposed urgency (“I’ve got to make the most of my time.”), or grateful anticipation (“I’ve been waiting for this time to come!”) or painful regret (“I wasted all of those years.”) or restless waiting (“When will my time come?”) or cautious fear (“I don’t want this time to arrive.”) or wonderful memory (“Do you remember that time that we …?”).
On the one side of the ledger stand such things as birth, planting and building, laughing and dancing, seeking and keeping, speaking and loving—in general, it might be said, being at peace with oneself and the world—and on the other side are placed such things as death, uprooting and destroying, weeping and mourning, losing and throwing away, keeping silent and hating—in general, being at war with oneself and the world. Here’s what I know about life and the kingdom of God – it’s never perfectly balanced. Some spend way more time on one side than the other. Kingdom people embrace the imbalance and love anyway.
What side of the ledger are you on this morning? What season are you in? Whether you’re in a season of starting something new, hard work, savoring or rest, you can learn and grow from your experience. Just like there’s no perfect season in nature, there’s no perfect season in life. One size doesn’t fit all. The good news is it’s possible to embrace and learn from each season and take that wisdom into your future seasons.
Jesus is Lord of every season. Invite Him in today!

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