Ecclesiastes 3: 1 - 8
1 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Well, 2020 has certainly been a very different year so far. As the Chinese say, “May you live in interesting times!” We are certainly doing that this year!
Sadly it has been a year where A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing has been predominately the latter.
As in all years, 2020 has brought A time to be born, and a time to die. With many of the deaths being due to Covid 19 and with the restrictions on funerals services, this has been particularly profound and sad for us. A time to weep and a time to heal. A time to mourn, and a time to dance. I hope many of you have had the cause to dance and the time to laugh over the year. Whilst, sadly we have lost brethren, I know that many have been healed by our wonderful NHS. I am also sure that some of you
may have been lucky enough to have seen new life come into your families and witnessed the joys of a new born child.
Now, we are in November, and the seasons have moved towards winter, and I don’t know about you, but for me, it tends to be a time for thought, and for reflection on the past, and on plans for the future, especially with Christmas and the New Year not so far away. The days are becoming shorter and the weather, (along with the pandemic restrictions), keep us indoors; but hopefully keeping safe, well and warm.
This month we have had many Remembrance events when we have thought of and thanked those who have given their lives for our liberty in war over the years. Whilst we have not been able to attend Memorial Services this year, it has been heart-warming to witness the representatives from Lodges within the Province, lay wreaths at War Memorials across Inverclyde. A time for war and a time for peace.
Normally we would be well into the Installation Season and enjoying our Freemasonry. We may not be able to physically meet up but I know Lodges are keeping in touch with their members in other ways. My own Mother Lodge for example has introduced a monthly newsletter. This month it also introduced the start of 1121 Lockdown Delights. For those with the technology, this is a Zoom meeting in the style of Desert Island Discs. Members of the Lodge select 4 favourite songs or pieces of music to be played, and then explain why they chose them. They also chose a book which they would want to take with them to the desert island, as well as a luxury item. This is obviously a fun way to keep in touch, but it is also an excellent way of getting to know the brethren taking part, just that little bit better. A time to keep silence and a time to speak. A time to laugh.
In sharing my thoughts with you over the past months, I have mentioned the garden which we have building up this year. Well, October and November has seen some more planting … but it has also seen much harvesting. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. It is wonderful to plant seeds and see life grow out of them.
The USA is fighting over A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away, but we pray that the nation will find A time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up. We have to embrace change. We need to bend with the wind. If we do not, then it is we who may break. It is we who may be hurt. We must accept that there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. This has been a year of tumultuous change, but I dearly hope it has been kind to you and to your family and loved ones.
I pray that God’s Love and Light may shine upon you throughout all the seasons.
With warm fraternal regards,
George J Carson
Provincial Grand Chaplain