A Time for Everything

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 kill, and a time to heal;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh . . .

But in the beginning there was a time to be born but no time to die; a time to live but no time to kill; a time to laugh but never, ever a time to cry.  For there was a time when all God could say is “good” as He gazed upon a creation where no grave-diggers spade had ever stabbed the soil of earth.

But for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.  And there came a time when every matter under heaven was under hell, under the ancient serpent who wrapped his coils around our first parents’ soul, and strangled the life out of them. There came a time when men learned to sing dirges, when she who was called woman came to be called widow, and the bodies of loved ones were laid to rest six feet under a slab of granite with two dates chiseled therein:  one a time to be born and the other a time to die.

And pious hearts raised the mournful cry, “Oh when shall I behold the face of God?”  And heaven said, “Wait.”  And still they cried, “Oh when shall I behold the face of God?”  And heaven said, “Wait.”  And still more they cried, “When, Oh when, shall I . . . . “

Then the angels put their fingers to their lips, saying, “The time has come.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”  And we beheld the face of God in the countenance of Mary’s Son.  Yes, there was a time to be born, even for God.

Mary had a little Lamb to make us white as snow; a little Passover lamb who would drain His blood on the accursed tree that we might be washed therein and come out as white as wool.  The Virgin had a Paschal lamb whom God so freely gave us; a Lamb whose blood is painted on the door posts of our lips and the lintel of our tongue with the paintbrush of the chalice.

For if there was a time to be born for God, then likewise there was a time to die; a time to walk through the valley of the shadow of crucifixion all alone; a time for His head to be anointed with His own blood; a time for the Shepherd to die for sheep that love to wander.  And this He did all for you.

But weep not, O sinner, for today is no time for tears!  For the Marys found no corpse to anoint with spices; no cold flesh to warm with their tears.  Toward the dawn of the first day of the week, the angel rolled back the stone to reveal a tomb spic and span, ready for occupancy, but not by our God.  For He who at the beginning had said, “Good,” had come to say it again.  He had come to create afresh, to rebuild a fallen creation with His resurrected flesh and blood.

Therefore, O Christian, for you there is now a time to be born and a time to be born anew, born anew from the womb of holy water, born anew to love the habitation of Christ’s body, the place where His glory dwells.  For His Word is firmly set in our flesh and blood.

O sheep of the Shepherd, draw nigh to the manger and see the table He has prepared, a table of flesh and an overflowing cup of blood, that you might taste and see that the Lord is good to you.

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If you enjoy my writings, please consider purchasing my recently published book, The Infant Priest:  Hymns and Poems.  This poetry gives voice to the triumphs and tragedies of life in a broken world.  Whether you weep, rejoice, struggle, or hope, through these hymns and poems you can speak to God with honesty and fidelity.  By buying a copy, you will also aid mission work, for 25% of the proceeds from book sales go to benefit Lutherans in Africa.  Click here to purchase your copy.  Thanks!

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5 thoughts on “A Time for Everything

  1. Beth Nieman on said:

    Very beautiful and moving writing–wow! Thank you so much.

  2. Oh come, all ye faithful, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker.

  3. “Mary had a little Lamb to make us white as snow;” ONLY from Chad Bird! It made the little dog laugh to see such sport, and the fish ran away with the spoon.

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