For everything there is a season, and time for every purpose under heaven. - Ecclesiastes 3:1
Some of you know those words as the lyrics to a song by The Byrds, but they actually originated in our Bible. Sometimes we hear them read at funeral services and think about them in relation to the end of life. After pastoring for a number of years, I also see them as talking about the "seasons" of our lives - both individually and as the church. The longer we live, the more we can look back and recognize the different seasons.
In the church, I have seen this in programs, ministries, Sunday School Classes, and Small Groups that thrive for a season, but eventually come to an end. It is really the normal pattern of life. While we would like the prime years of anything to last forever, that usually is not the way it works. However, we can celebrate when something has served its purpose, while also blessing it when its time ends.
We have such a seasonal change in the life of JCPC with our Wednesday evening dinners. While those dinners have been well-attended over the years and provided great fellowship, in recent years there has been less and less interest in them. Maybe it has to do with the increasing time demands of busy families, or the difficulty of getting anywhere in Johns Creek by 6:00 p.m. I grew up in a time when Wednesday night was almost as sacred as Sundays. Now, even Sunday morning events have to compete with numerous non-church events.
While Wednesday Night Dinners will be concluding at the end of March, our Connecting Team is refocusing our attention on some of the larger, annual, church-wide events such as the upcoming Ash Wednesday Dinner, the Giving Thanks Dinner, Cookies, Caroling, and Cocoa, Chili Cook-off/Talent Show and the World Communion Sunday Joint Luncheon -- rather than having a weekly event. Wednesday Choirs, Bible Studies, and Small Groups will still continue to meet.
Finally, if there is a great upsurge of interest in restarting this, we will certainly reconsider it. Personally, I am grateful to all who worked hard to support these dinners and I will miss the good fellowship I experienced getting to know folks better around the table.
Prayer for Today
Gracious God, we thank you for the seasons of our lives. We thank you for the gift of time. We thank you that with many endings, there are also new beginnings. Give us eyes of faith to see how you are at work in our lives. We pray this in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.