The narrator in the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes was called Koheleth or the preacher. I rather imagine him to be a fellow who has circled the sun quite a few times. He is a person whose learning hasn’t come from text books or by studying only what others have said. No, the words of this preacher are born of his own experience in life and what he has experienced in life has not made him a particularly optimistic fellow. It has in fact, made him at least a realist if not, sometimes an introvert pessimist.
One of his observations has been wrestled out of his years of learning the hard way. So, we would do well to hear with respect what he tells us about time, if for no other reason that it has about it that peculiar scent of the truth. It is the way of the aged. They no longer need to impress others. So, they remove the filters and speak the truth as they have come to know it.
Regarding time, the preacher says “There is a time and a season for everything.” Now, I won’t go into his extensive list both because his opening salvo on the subject has really said it all. Everything else are only an incomplete listing of examples. So, I want to enter into the record one more example which illustrates Koheleth’s statement. “There is a time to come and there is a time to go.” My time has come to go away from this place and from the wonderful people God once sent me here to know and love, and with whom I would be honored to travel beside on a a great adventure of faith during six years of my life.
I thank God for the time He allowed me to spend with you all. Since I will soon turn sixty years, these years represent a tenth of my life, thank you for allowing me to serve as your Pastor. It has been an honor for me. Thank you for accepting Diane and me into your lives and for the way you have loved and cared for us.
As we leave, we ask you not to spend very long looking back, instead, look forward and go forward with your new Pastor and his wife. They are great folks and they need your support and love and I am confident that they will be a great blessing to you and this great community.
And as we move on, I leave you with that great biblical blessing which I have shared with you at the close of each service for the past six years.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.