A friend of mine once told me that no other months in any particular year start on the same day of the week as the month of May. I wasn't quite sure if this was a useless piece of trivia or something that points to just how unique May really is in our calendar. I have since come to realize that the month of May is a unique month for a wide variety of other reasons. For those who can't wait to get out in the flower garden, it is the fulfillment of the familiar old saying, "April showers bring May flowers." For our Hispanic neighbors, it is the month best known for celebrating Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May, the Mexican Independence Day. But for me, as the calendar winds its way through the entirety of the month of May, I am reminded of the familiar biblical passage from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes:
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which 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 cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, 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 of war, and a time of peace." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 KJV)
These words are also familiar to many of us who lived during the 1960s, when the Byrds immortalized them in their hit song, "Turn, Turn, Turn." But why, you might ask, does this passage of scripture come to mind for me at this time of year in particular? Well, it has something to do with the wide variety of seemingly unrelated special days and events we commemorate during the month of May.
Mother's Day reminds us there is a time to be born, a time to love, and a time to embrace. Graduations remind us there is a time to laugh, a time to dance, and a time to seek. And Memorial Day reminds us there is a time to die, a time to weep, and a time to mourn.
From Mother's Day to graduation celebrations to Memorial Day, each of these special days and events suggest the ebb and flow of life that is so wonderfully portrayed in the words, "to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." These events help to encapsulate the span of our lives from cradle to grave, as our lives truly do "turn, turn, turn."
And for Christians, these important events mark special times of blessing in our lives where God's presence is often most acutely experienced. In each of these special events and commemorations, God blesses us and our families. The Lord truly has a season for everything and a time for every purpose under heaven.
Doug Stockton is senior pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, 301 Wooster St., Marietta. Thoughts of Faith is a weekly column written by various ministers and lay people. Those interested in scheduling a date for writing a Thoughts of Faith column should contact Claire Heiby at 376-5445 or email@example.com. Or, if a Thoughts of Faith column is written at the writer's convenience and sent to The Times, it will run the first available date.