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A time for turning

December 10, 2008

(Yom Kippur liturgy)

To everything there is a season,
And there is an appointed time for every purpose
Under heaven.

Now is the time for turning.

The leaves are beginning to turn
From green to red and orange.

The birds are beginning to turn
To storing their food for the winter

For leaves, birds, and animals
Turning comes instinctively.
But for us turning does not come so easily.

It takes an act of will
For us to make a turn

It means breaking with old habits
It means admitting that we have been wrong;
And this is never easy.

It means losing face;
It means starting all over again;
And this is always painful.

It means saying: ‘I am sorry.’
It means admitting that we have the ability to change;
And this is always embarrassing.

These things are terribly hard to do.
But unless we turn, we will be trapped forever
In yesterday’s ways.

Lord, help us turn–

From callousness to sensitivity,
From hostility to love,

From pettiness to purpose,
From envy to contentment,

From carelessness to discipline,
From fear to faith.

Turn us around, O Lord, and bring us back towards You.
Revive our lives, as at the beginning.

And turn us towards each other, Lord,
For in isolation there is no life.

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