Time, Time, Time
Dear brothers and Sisters in Christ, summer time is fully upon us and many of us have hopes of relaxing and taking it easy. I know that’s my hope every summer, but every summer I find myself disappointed. I find along with so many others that, “there’s just not enough time”. Have you ever said that to yourself? There’s so much stuff to do, job, taking the kids to practice, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, exercising, picnics Bar-b-ques, shopping, being a husband or a wife, and the list goes on and on, “there’s just not enough time!”
The world gives us several ways to solve our problem with time. I once saw a pop up ad for a “time management coach” as I was checking my e-mails. In the ad the “coach” claimed that she/he could take your “procrastination, feelings of panic, being constantly in a hurry and walk them right out of the door. They’ll no longer be a part of your life”. Wow I was amazed I wanted to know just how that could happen so I scrolled down, and there was the answer. All I needed to do was take the 5 week course, pay a fee and Abbra Cadabra my time problems would be solved. I read that and found myself saying, “you must be kidding, 5 weeks on top of what I’m doing already.” I was mad that I had wasted 10 minutes of my time even looking at the ad.
“There’s just not enough time.” Is that the way life is going to be? Is that the way of things? Is that the way it is for you and for me, a life filled with things to do? The world’s answers are insufficient, but God’s answers are not. Listen to what He says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
What is God saying here? He is giving to us a fundamental truth about Himself and His relation to us. We are to work for 6 days and rest on the seventh day, why because God does so himself. God worked on creation for 6 days and on the seventh God rested. This does not mean that he ceased doing all the things that God does; rather God took the time to look at what He had created and saw that it was good. God demonstrates His love for His creation, for us, by spending time with his creation. This is the way that God intended life for us to be, God spending time with us and we with Him and this is not just any time it is holy time it is sacred time because God Himself blessed that time.
But then we rained on the parade, we ruined the party; we decided that what God had established for us was not good enough. Time was no longer for us a sacred thing, time became our enemy. Abraham Heschel a noted Jewish Rabbi says this about time, “time to us is a slick treacherous monster with a jaw like a furnace incinerating every moment of our lives.” And we soon find that we can not master time and we soon find out that there just isn’t enough time.
And so we are like the world, we continue to busy ourselves with our work with our chores and we forget the Holy time that God has set aside for us. Because of this God reminds us, in fact he commands us to “remember the Sabbath”. And in that remembering God points us back to creation, points us back to what our time should be like. But not only does remembering point us back it points us to the future. In remembering the Sabbath we find that it is the Lord our God who sanctifies us and who will bring us back to that perfect rest with Him that only He can provide. And provide for us He does, for He sent to us out of infinite time His Son Jesus Christ. Because while we are yet slaves to the elementary principles of this world God in the fullness of time sent His Son, to redeem those, to redeem us who under the Law who are slaves to time. It is only Christ who fully keeps the Law and who bridges for us the gap of time that separates the rest we had at creation with the rest we will have on the last day.
So now we must revisit the questions that I posed to you earlier. Are our lives ones that are filled with never ending lists of things to do, ones where the work never seems to end, ones where there is just not enough time? The answer is yes! Yes, we are to spend our lives being about the work that the Lord has set before us and the work that He gives us to do does not cease. Anyone who is a Father or a Mother will tell you that that is a 24 hour seven day a week job that lasts a life time. And at the same time the answer is no! In our lives the work does end, our time is not used up, we do find rest. We do not however find that rest in merely ceasing from work, we find rest only in Christ Jesus, for it is through Him that we enter into God’s own rest. As Martin Luther teaches us, “At whatever time God’s Word is taught, preached, heard, read, or pondered, there the person, the day, and the work are sanctified.” God makes all time Holy, He makes our time Holy and when we are in His word, when we are where He said He would meet us, we do indeed truly find rest. So come all who are troubled and burdened by time and the Lord your God will give you rest. Amen.
In His Service,
Vicar Todd McMurry