Wednesday, November 26, 2008

God's Gift of Time

Quoting from Dr. Arthur Just's book Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service:
Time is a part of our lives that we seldom think or talk about, except when we complain that we do not have enough of it. Few people think of time as holy or as a gift of God, but time is sacred, a trust from God to live in His creation with joy and contentment. Time is marked by Christians in a special way in their liturgical life because Christ entered time. By His presence in the creation to make all things new He changed our reckoning of time forever. From the beginning, early Christians lived with clarity about how, through Christ’s resurrection, eternity now bore in upon our finite time. They lived in that tension between a life lived toward the end time within time itself, that tension between the now and the not yet. By their accounting of days and weeks and years, Christians gave meaning to time. Their timekeeping proceeded from Jewish timekeeping and also proclaimed that now all was fulfilled in Christ.

Liturgical time allows the Church to proclaim time’s sacred character as Christ-centered. Through Sunday as the day of worship and rhythms of the Church Year, the Church teaches how our days and weeks and years are shaped and formed by the reality that Jesus entered our time and space. This rhythm shows us how we are to truly live in God’s gift of time as temporal beings baptized into Christ’s eternal life. The structure of time says as much about us as a people as anything else we do or say as Christians.
Arthur A. Just Jr., Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service, (St. Louis: CPH, 2008) 116.
photo credit: ToniVC

1 comment:

Raggedy Lamb said...

You know, this is one of the things that brought me back to Lutheranism. Last year I had been going to a church just because it was the nearest one. There were a few things that I didn't agree with doctrinally, and I think I was ready to quit and settle once and for all on the Lutheran church another 15 minutes away.

In preparation for Christmas they did something called, "A Month Early Christmas." I never quite understood why, but in the middle of November they had all their Christmas outreach activities and potlucks. When I asked them about Advent, no one even knew what I was talking about.

The church I'm attending now is not liturgical, and I so miss this clear distinction of the church seasons. First Sunday in Advent is in a few days. I hope this church works out!