Turn, Turn, Turn

Turn, Turn, Turn
David R. Denny, Pastor
Ecclesiastes 3
Drummondtown Baptist Church
January 1, 2017

Begin with the song Turn, Turn, Turn by the Byrds.



  •      Riding on the touring bus, the lead guitarist Jim McGuinn was asked by his soon to be wife Dolores to play this song.  He played it not like a folk song, but with a rock beat and the idea to record was born.
  •      Billboard hot 100 entered at #80 and rose to become #1 on Dec 4, 1965.
  •      The song holds the distinction as the #1 hit with the oldest lyrics.
  •      78 takes over 5 days to record it.

To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap 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.


According to Ecclesiastes, there is a time and a season for everything.  As we approach this new year, I would like to make a few predictions for you:

  1. Sometime this year you will find a season of laughter.

In a world that seems to be self-destructing, laughter is essential.  Laughter reflects a happy heart a life confident in and contented.  Christians of all people should laugh because the Spirit of God fills us with joy and we have so much to be happy about.  Churches should be happy places.  I see that happiness when I watch you greet one another each Sunday in the service.

Happiness is often missing in the secular workforce.  I hate to say this but the schools are often difficult places for kids and teachers alike.  Kids get bullied and fight peer pressure.  And teachers are under enormous stress to perform.  I see teachers quitting all the time in my school because they can’t take it anymore.

John 4–The wedding at Cana.  I’m sure that Jesus came to this wedding with a spirit of joviality and laughter…

*Mary Beard–ancient Joke book. *Celebrated classics professor Mary Beard has brought to light a volume more than 1,600 years old, which she says shows the Romans not to be the “pompous, bridge-building toga wearers” they’re often seen as, but rather a race ready to laugh at themselves.  *Written in Greek, Philogelos, or The Laughter Lover, dates to the third or fourth century AD, and contains some 260 jokes which Beard said are “very similar” to the jokes we have today, although peopled with different stereotypes – the “egghead”, or absent-minded professor, is a particular figure of fun, along with the eunuch, and people with hernias or bad breath.


Beard’s favourite joke is a version of the Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman variety, with a barber, a bald man and an absent-minded professor taking a journey together. They have to camp overnight, so decide to take turns watching the luggage. When it’s the barber’s turn, he gets bored, so amuses himself by shaving the head of the professor. When the professor is woken up for his shift, he feels his head, and says “How stupid is that barber? He’s woken up the bald man instead of me.”

  1.  Sometime this year you find a time to weep.

As pastor, I wish I could shelter you all from this time, but I can’t.  Sorrow and tragedy are woven deeply into the fabric of faith and life.  We cannot escape it.  Solomon who wrote these words whispers a truth that we all know will touch us at some point. There is a time to weep, but where better to touch sorrow’s hem than in the church surrounded by one another and the every present love of God.  Yes, you will weep sometime this year, but standing beside you all the while will be the Great Shepherd who feels your pain and brings you solace.

Hebrews 4:15:  For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

John 11:35.  Jesus stood before the tomb of Lazarus and wept.  There are two Greek words for weep:  δακρύω (used only 1 time in the NT and it means to weep silently); the other word used 40 times in the NT is κλαίω, which is to express one’s emotions fully while weeping like Peter id Matthew 26:75.

3.   As this year progresses day by day, find the times to be silent.

      We live in a noisy world.  I like to take walks and many times I will walk along Cedar Road, the main road in front of my neighborhood.  But the traffic is so loud I can barely hear myself think.  Noise is everywhere.  When I go to the gym, everybody has earphones in their ears listening to loud music.  **I heard on the news the other day that kids today are ruining their hearing by listening to loud music with their headphones.     

     But God has designated times for silence.  God wants you to take off the headphones, turn off the TV, unplug from the world of sound and listen to Him in silence

*Elijah was on the run.  I Kings 19:11- 13).  He had just called down fire and burnt up his sacrifice on the altar.  This upset Jezebel who was on the hunt for him.  Elijah fled to Mt. Horeb where God told him to stand on the mountain and wait for God to appear  –Wind–earthquake–Fire–(No god)  then God came in a still small voice–Or if you translate the Hebrew–a thin sound of silence (1 Kings 19:12. ק֖וֹל  דְּמָמָ֥ה  דַקָּֽה  (1 Kings 19:11- 13).  “A thin sound of silence,” or the voice of an impalpable silence.  SILENCE IN THE BIBLE–PAOLO TORRESAN  jbq.jewishbible.org/assets/Uploads/313/313_Silence…Jewish Bible Quarterly.

       There is a time for silence, says Solomon. In silence your head will clear, your heart can replenish its zeal, your spirit will be refreshed.  Take time each day for silence.  And in that time, seek the Lord and listen to that quiet voice that uses when He wants to tell you something.

To  everything–turn, turn, turn–there is a season, a time to every purpose under heaven.

Let’s stand and sing this song and prepare our hearts for the year to come, a year filled with seasons set by God for our lives.

*Album cover fond at this site: http://ontheflip-side.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-flip-sides-of-byrds-singles-she.html

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