Pete Seger is credited with writing the song, “Turn, Turn, Turn.”  It was written in the 1950’s but not set to music until 1962. Seger did a rendition of it as did the Limelighters in the early sixties, but neither of them took off. It 20 santity of lifewas in 1965 that the Byrds put it to a contemporary rock sound that it made it all the way up the charts to #1 on the American Billboards. I graduated in 1965 and our year book committee chose it as our theme song for the class. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 was the theme passage for our class. Pete Seger, who got all the royalties, wrote only one word of the song. That word was “turn.” He simply repeated it three times as the chorus after the verses that were penned 3000 years ago by Solomon. The passage uses the word “time”

According to Phil Ryken, Plautus wrote about tyranny of time, “Bemoaning the stress caused by the latest device for keeping time, the Roman playwright said, ‘the gods confound the man who first found out how to distinguish hours! Confound him who has cut and hacked my days so wretchedly into small pieces. Confound him who in this place set up a sundial.’” How much worse is it for us today. We all wear watches so we can keep close track of what time it is so we can meet our next appointment or accomplish our next mini-mission. I remember the story of the missionary who moved to the jungle to reach a very primitive tribe. The tribes people referred to him by a particular word that he could not understand. When he got a translator he told him that the natives had given him a name that he didn’t understand. He then asked what the name meant. The translator laughed and said it means, “The one who wears his god on his wrist.” The missionary, like most Americans, always checks his watch before doing anything. We are indeed slaves to time.

Ecclesiastes 3 begins with, “there is a time for every purpose under heaven.” It is followed by the repetition of the word “time” 28 times in 14 pairs of perfect opposites. Looking at these opposites we might notice that they cover the entire gamut of the human experience. But we might also notice that there is a “purpose” expressed. There is a sovereign design and order for each event beginning with “a time to be born, and a time to die.” God is sovereign over birth and death. Yesterday was the sanctity of life Sunday. Ronald Reagan established that back in the 1980s. It’s focus is to draw our attention to the fact the God, and only God, has the power to start life or to end life. Reagan believed that life began at conception. Each conception is a miracle. Think of all the circumstances that must take place for any particular person to be conceived. It’s not just sex! Abraham and Sarah had sex thousands of times (I’d expect) as did many other couples in the bible who never conceived a child. Each conception is a miracle and is planned and purposed under the mighty had of a completely sovereign God who establishes a “time to be born” as well as “a time to die.” Life from conception to death in God’s time is sacred.