Should I, or anyone, be feeling philosophical at this time of the year, four days before Christmas?  Maybe a bit of an answer can be found in the Wisdom book Ecclesiastes 3, with its intriguing passages about time, and further comments from the Preacher. How would they apply to the Incarnation today?   

A Time for Everything

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 a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. From Ecclesiastes 3:1-14

I see quite important messages here.  The one-liners are often used alone, – don’t we all do that –  but overall there is the need for a sense of balance. Life does not end here but continues into eternity. Every little thing matters. Everything is part of a grand design. God is ultimately in control.  

I could say “put that in your pipe and smoke it.”  But these days life is complex. Pipes seem to be for vaping, so should I say, “ a time to vape or a time to guard your lungs, a time to drink and a time to abstain – and be the designated driver.  A time to be alone and a time to be lost in a crowd.   A time to enjoy the gift of God’s beauty and a time to set the world on fire.   Christmas can be all these things. Or none. It depends.   The Incarnation is a very serious and important matter, one of life and death, of God and creation, one to meditate on and philosophize over, day by day. God’s loving blessings fill your hearts and minds this Christmas season.   TR FAMILY WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 21 DECEMBER 2022