In God’s Time
God’s people have always been asked to live in God’s time.
Noah – waited for God’s timing for rain
Abraham – lived in God’s time waiting for a son
Moses – was told to watch for God’s time when the pillar of cloud/fire moved
David – trusted God’s timing to make him king
The prophets spoke forth God’s words, know that the timing of what they said was in God’s hands. The Jewish nation set up a calendar that kept them within the story of what God had done in their history. Celebrations, observances and festivals pointed to the fact that they lived in God’s time.
Even Jesus trusted God’s time. From beginning His public work to “the hour is near” and “it is finished”, He lived within the hours and minutes, days and months of God.
“I Don’t Have the Time”
In our day, we say things like “time is money” and “don’t waste my time”. Perhaps we’ve lost sight of Who time belongs to and its purpose in His story. Perhaps, like previous generations, we need to put time back into its proper place. We were not made to be a slave to time, but rather time is to be used to bring our lives back to be centered on our Living King.
We rush, we are hurried; we don’t rest well and when we do, we feel guilty. We do the things we shouldn’t do and leave undone those things that should be done. We are driven by our clocks and calendars until the days and months become a blur. Then say with melancholy, “oh how time flies”.
Perhaps we need a different way of looking at time.
Can our calendars – those ever expanding giants that overshadow and dominate our lives – can they become a source of reorientation of who we really are and Whose we really are? Instead of a task master, can they point us to living in rhythm with our True Master? Can our calendars in the 21st century teach us to live in God’s time and God’s story?
The truth is, as people we are story-formed. Be it stories about our families, stories in our communities, or stories found in our culture-at-large, we are shaped by the history and myths that are all around us.
That is what the Story-Formed calendar is. It is a calendar for those who call themselves followers of Jesus because it reorients our lives to the work and life of Jesus in history. It re-tells the narrative of the gospel and encourages us to live – to work, go to school, parent, shop, play – all within God’s story.
It provides a cadence, a beat for us to live our lives in time with God. As we are Story-formed, we go through a cycle of Listening, Celebrating, and Working twice in the entire year.
Listen – we listen to the story of Jesus and what it says to us. During Advent it says “WAIT”, and during Lent it says “TRUST”.
Celebrate – we celebrate after these periods of listening. First, we celebrate Jesus’ birth. Secondly, we celebrate His resurrection.
Work – after these times of listening and celebration we enter into times where we ask God to “teach us to number our days” and to “give permanence to the work of our hands”. It is a time of working in and for the Kingdom – of being God’s people, doing God’s work in the world.