Notes from Jan

It’s About Time

April 15, 2024

Fill in the blank. It’s about time to…. Or it’s about time you… Maybe it’s about time they… Or I don’t have time for… But, in the end, it’s about how we choose to use or waste the time of our lives.

As much as I sometimes miss what was and especially who was, I try to make the best use of today. ““This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24, NLT) But also to be hopeful about tomorrow.

Yesterday my son-in-love and I visited a church he attended as a boy. The church, like many today in our country, was built to hold more people than showed up. And ,like too many churches, most who came were gray, white or bald headed. Still, it was time well spent.

A visiting pastor delivered the sermon, based on Luke 24, when Jesus showed up after the resurrection to his frightened disciples. They were hiding out when suddenly, Jesus stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”(v.36) They, disbelieving “believers”, think they’re seeing a ghost. To demonstrate their misconception, Jesus shows his hands and feet, then asks for something to eat.

After teaching and helping them open their minds, Jesus states, “You are witnesses of these things.” (v. 48) The guest preacher talked about how fearful, puzzled, weary, amazed and hopeful the disciples must’ve been at this point. Maybe they were hopeful that things could go back to the way they were before. But everything had changed. They and Jesus were not the same.

Then, the minister reminded us of the changes in the church and how some might want to go back to a bygone era when it seemed like everybody went to church. Or back to just before the pandemic when more folks came to church instead of connecting on-line. But nothing stays the same. Times change. We change. But our mission is the same one Christ gave his disciples: “You are witnesses of these things.” What things? How Jesus is alive and at work in the world. God’s love and purposes for us. And today for whatever reason or wherever we hide in fear, Jesus speaks, “Peace be with you.”

But, as sometimes happens for me, God showed up at an odd time. When? During the announcements. It was when the home pastor struggled to convey to the church family the death of a beloved member of the congregation. I didn’t know this woman but found myself wiping my eyes as the pastor choked up talking about what she’d meant to this church family and beyond. Some choir members dabbed at their eyes. Apparently, she used a significant amount of the time of her life to “to bear witness to these things.” And because of one woman, there were those who knew about Jesus and what He and they were about.

So, on this Monday in April, I ask, “What does my life bear witness to?” And how am I using the time of my life? After an encounter with the risen Christ, a small band of women and men chose to bear witness to the changes in them and in Jesus. Then they chose to use the time that remained of their lives to begin to change the world.

For God’s children, the best is yet to be.

Meanwhile, it’s about time.



So, a few thoughts from some wiser than I will ever be:

“How we spend our days, is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Annie Dillard

“The time is always right to do what is right.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?” Wendell Berry

“I’m here to be me, which is taking a great deal longer than I had hoped.” Anne Lamott

And as to the regrets and longings of times gone by: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S .Lewis

God only knows why, but Grace sets the pace for the times of our lives.

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