On Time

Jeremiah 33:14-16 – First Sunday of Advent – for Sunday, December 2, 2012

“The days are surely coming…” (Jeremiah 33:14)


I am “skirting” Bethlehem this year. Click here for why.

Do you have a minute? Want to grab an hour? How does today look?

What time is it? It’s time to go . . . now . . . soon . . . later.

What time do I start? Half past six. Zero dark thirty. When you’re ready.

Who could improve on Charles Dickens’ timeless opening line in his Tale of Two Cities?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Whoa! Dickens scribed an opening line with 120 words! No twenty-first century editor would take the time to read such a lengthy opening to a novel. After all, time is money.

Time is money, and back in the old times, the more Dickens wrote, the more quid he received.

Recently I chatted with a friend planning to retire soon. His “last day” looms. After thirty and more years of working a job he loves—and a job he did very well—it’s almost over. He approaches the end of time, if you will. How could those decades flash by so quickly? How could years of a cluttered desk and an overscheduled calendar become an empty office in a matter of days?

As a pastor, I recall leaving churches, where the bookshelves were emptied and the final sermon had been given and I relinquished the keys. I’ve left a parish six times in my mostly uneventful clergy career. Sometimes I cried; sometimes I sighed with relief.

My, my, how time flies. Continue reading →