Qoheleth the Preacher wrote:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

(From the Daily Office Lectionary – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – June 6, 2012)

I have already written one of these for today’s readings (see “Of” not “In”), but I couldn’t let the day go by without giving a nod to one of the most important pieces of Scripture in my life! The fabulous Pete Seeger set this to music 1959; he altered the words slightly and added a few of his own. Six years later the group The Byrds recorded it and it became an international hit. The song, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” is definitely in my personal Top Ten. ~ My wife and I have a game we play called “I want that played at my funeral”. Her list of songs to be played at her requiem currently numbers (I’m sure) somewhere around 5,000! Mine is much shorter, but “Turn! Turn! Turn!” is on it. ~ I’m sure the line “Turn! Turn! Turn!” is intended to refer to the “turning of the seasons”, it has always reminded me of the beautiful spinning dance of the Mevlevi Sufis, the “whirling dervishes” of mystical Islam, who seek through their turning dance to reach a state of religious ecstasy. The liturgy of the dance is called Sama and represents the mystical journey of the human spirit ascending through mind and love to perfection. ~ Just a few days ago, on Trinity Sunday, I preached about the Christian theological doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the Greek word perichoresis, which describes the “heavenly dance” of the Three Persons of the Godhead. With this passage, its reminder of Seeger’s great song, and the image of the dancing Sufis, I am once again invited to join in. Let’s dance!