“Trailblazers in God’s Appointed Time”
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The text for us this morning from the book of Genesis is a familiar Judeo-Christian story of creation. The story tells us that God created the universe ex nihilo. To continue with the theme of our conversation, i.e., time, let us ask, “Was there time before the creation?” Non-religious folks would ask a little differently: did time exist before the big bang? What these questions are asking is, “Does time itself have a beginning and an end?”
Another related question we might ask is “Is God timeless?” Some scholars would say that God is eternal but not timeless. This presupposition assumes that there was and will be time and God exists within time, but God is everlasting in that God has existed through all of time.
Additionally, we might also ask, “Are spiritual beings within the limits of time just as human beings are?” In other words, what happens to time after we die? Time is an interesting concept, and the more we think about it, the more questions arise in our mind.
Someone has likened life on earth to that of standing at a bank of a river and watching the river flowing constantly. The ceaseless flow of water represents time that is constantly passing. Whether we are doing something or not doing anything, time is moving. Time cannot be stopped. Time and tide do not wait for anyone, as the saying goes.
That standing at the shore represents our time on earth. Someday we will jump into the river and become a part of the ceaseless flow of time. But for now, we have the opportunity to stand at the shore. That is our moment, a moment to live, love and make a difference. That is the opportune, sacred, divine, kairos time. That is what we called the present – a gift. Dalai Lama is believed to have said, “There are only two days in a year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow; so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”
Whether time existed or will exist or whether or not God is timeless are all human attempts to understand the unknowable. It is good to speculate or think, but we may never have answers to our questions about time. All we know is that we exist today, and today is a gift. Living life to the fullest every day or every moment is what matters in life.
Tezenlo Thong, Pastor
Simpson United Methodist Church