Pete Seeger, in the 1950s, adapted a verse from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) and the song reached #1 on the Billboard chart of American hits in mid 1960s.
It starts: To every thing 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;
During this time of reflection, pause to consider whether our country has had enough killing, enough breaking down, enough weeping and enough mourning?
Perhaps we need to devote more time to healing, building up, laughing and dancing?
Side by side with the gifts we receive in life, we must also consider the responsibilities we have been given, How can we widen our normal sphere of influence: family, friends, church, co-workers and acquaintances?
How can we celebrate our diverse heritages and faiths while also lending a hand up to those whose lives are led on the fringes of our society: the old and dying, the poor and uneducated, the traumatized and under-treated, those imprisoned, those we often lose sight of or discard as worthless?
Churches are famous for their rituals, and rituals are important. How can we extend what they offer in our personal lives, away from church? How can we build a daily practice of seeing one another as children of God?. How can we build up community goodwill through seasonal celebrations of our commonalities, the things that unite us rather than what separates us?