Captured Time. I read the name of the antique shop in Greyabbey as I ran past.
Captured Time. Now more than ever before we love to capture moments, to create happy memories. But we can’t capture time itself- we can’t catch it. No matter what, the earth keeps spinning, time marches on & moments run through our fingers like grains of sand.
Tonight we celebrate another revolution around the sun- the end of another year- chronological (Chronos) time
We’ve also just celebrated the moment that split history in two:
‘The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable’
(Ralph W Sockman)
I love how this poem puts it:
‘This was the moment when Before
Turned into After, and the future’s
Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.
This was the moment when nothing
Happened. Only dull peace
Sprawled boringly over the earth.
This was the moment when even energetic Romans
Could find nothing better to do
Than counting heads in remote provinces.
And this was the moment
When a few farm workers and three
Members of an obscure Persian sect
Walked haphazard by starlight straight
Into the kingdom of heaven.’
This was God ordained Kairos moment:
‘But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.’
(Galatians 4:4-5 NIV)
Jesus said, “ I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
(John 10:10 MSG)
‘Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth’
(Hark! The herald angels sing-Charles Wesley)
Our Unchanging God transcends time:
‘Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.’
(Psalm 90:2 NIV)
Yet, ‘Eternity stepped into time, so we could understand’
And He is at work in time:
‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.’
(Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)
Psalm 39:5 (AMP) says ‘My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best each of us is but a breath’
‘Selah’ is the word that follows next, & the amplified version translates this word as meaning ‘Pause, & think calmly of that!’
‘Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.’
(James 4:14 NIV)
Our time here is so transient, like a vapour, like the notorious Irish mist that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
‘What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night… It’s the breath of the buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass & loses itself in the sunset’
(Native American saying )
In complete contrast, our God is from everlasting to everlasting. To Him, one thousand years are just like a day that has past (see Psalm 90)
‘We are a moment, You are forever
Lord of the Ages, God before time
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Love everlasting, reigning on high’
Compared to the vastness of eternity, our time here is but a moment.
Yet, our lives are in God’s hands & we can trust in Him.
‘Lord,through all the generations, you have been our home’
‘He has been God ‘from “once upon a time” to “kingdom come”’
(Psalm 90:2 MSG)
So, as we live our lives, we can stay close to Him & dwell with Him. We can make the most of our time here. We can’t capture time but we can ‘redeem the time’ by walking through life with Him.
‘Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’
(Psalm 90:12 NIV – A prayer of Moses the man of God)
All our days are written in His book. The Author of the epic story we call ‘Life’ knows how many pages are in the story of each of our lives (& of course what actually happens in our story)
‘Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d lived even one day’ (Psalm 139:16 MSG)
The Author of All knows how the story ends- with a happy never-ending:
‘This life is but a shadow.What is real is what will follow’ (attributed to CS Lewis)
As we pause & reflect on the Eve of 2022,we can trust the One who has been there already & holds it altogether:
‘I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied, “Go out into the darkness,
and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light,
and safer than a known way.”