Thursday, March 6, 2014

Now Is the Time

‘Don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life…now is the right time to listen. Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing question marks over everything we’re doing.’
These words from Paul from his second letter to the people of Corinth is in response to the reassuring report Titus gave him when they met in Macedonia. You see the relations between Paul and the Corinthian church had really gotten bad and it troubled him terribly. That’s when he wrote the severe, reprimanding letter to them that has been lost.
When he received Titus’ report he composed this letter which we’ve heard read. And the part of it that spoke to me and I want to share with you is this, “Now is the time.”
I celebrated my birthday this last Sunday and that may be why these words spoke to me. I’m getting old. Therefore my body is wearing out and I think about how much time God will give me to try to get it right. Maybe some of you can relate.
Solomon talks about time in his writings in Ecclesiastes, a time for every matter under heaven, everything that has been made was made suitable for its time. He has appointed a time for every matter. We all have just so much time and it should not be wasted.
And yet…we do waste our time chasing after things that do us no good and aren’t part of God’s plan for us and the world.
So, now is the time. This season of Lent, beginning today, is the time to begin anew walking with Jesus. Now is the time to listen. Today, this day is the day to be helped.
None of us want to frustrate anyone, especially God. But, we do, I do I know. How do I know? Well, I know because I frustrate my wife who is someone I love more than I love myself. So, if I frustrate her I know I must frustrate God.
That’s why Paul tells his friends in the church in Corinth that time is passing and they need to get it right and get on with the work God has called them to be doing. That same message is for us today.
People are watching us to see if we are living what we’re talking. This work God has called us to do is being validated by what people see us doing…or not doing.
Every one of us has been given 86,400 seconds every day. How are we using that time? How much is spent on just us? How much is spent in gossip? How much is spent complaining about others? How much is spent in prayer, reading God’s word, in study, in service?
I read these questions and my heart breaks as I listen to the words come from my mouth because I know that I’ve squandered way too much of the time God has given me.
My friends, as we begin this Lenten season lets commit to doing a better job of being a disciple of Jesus Christ and by the grace of God’s love for us may we become more loving, compassionate servants in our communities and in this world. May we be better stewards of the time God has blessed us with.

Thanks be to God for this gift of grace and time which he’s freely given to all of us. Amen. 

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