Reflection – 19 July 2020

Here is Martin Frost’s reflection for Sunday 19 July.

If you would like to join our online service, which starts at 11.00 WET/BST then send an email for joining instructions to newarkcongregational@virginmedia.com

Mark Taylor

God’s Time

Call to Worship

Prayer

You who are beyond time, Lord, you smile to see us fighting it.

And you know what you are doing.

You make no mistakes in your distribution of time to men.

You give each one time to what you want him to do…

Lord, I have time,

I have plenty of time,

All the time that you give me,

The years of my life,

The days of my years,

The hours of my days,

They are all mine.

Mine to fill, quietly, calmly,

But to fill completely, up to the brim,

To offer them to you, that of their insipid water

You may make a rich wine such as you made once in Cana of Galilee.

Hymn Lean Back – Jesus Culture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1JYVUmCGKE  

Lean Back

Jesus CultureBryan & Katie Torwalt, …

You will never leave
Your love sustaining me
Before I even knew what love was
You brought me here to rest
And given me space to breathe
So I’ll stand still until it sinks in

I will lean back in the loving arms
Of a beautiful father
Breathe deep and know that he is good
He’s a lover like no other

You will never leave
Your love sustaining me
Before I even knew what love was
You brought me here to rest
And given me space to breathe
So I’ll stand still until it sinks in

I will lean back in the loving arms
Of a beautiful father
Breathe deep and know that he is good
He’s a lover like no other

There is no unlike you God
No one like you God

Now I can see
Your love is better
Than all the others
That I’ve seen
And I’m breathing deep
Of all your goodness
Your loving kindness to me

Now I can see
Your love is better
Than all the others
That I’ve seen
So I’m breathing deep
Of all your goodness
Your loving kindness to me

Now I can see
Your love is better
Than all the others
That I’ve seen
So I’m breathing deep
Of all your goodness
Your loving kindness to me

I will lean back in the loving arms
Of a beautiful father
And I will breathe deep and know that he is good
He’s a lover like no other

Now I can see
Your love is better
Than all the others
That I’ve seen
So I’m breathing deep
Of all your goodness
Your loving kindness to me

I will lean back in the loving arms
Of a beautiful father
And I will breathe deep and know that he is good
He’s a lover like no other

Prayer

This morning we pray especially for:

The people we have and will come into contact with – that out time may be measured in richness not length

For those whose time seems a burden, that they can appreciate the time they can have with you

For those who feel they have no time, are stressed and pressured – that you will help them manage the lists they have.

Readings

Ps. 74:16-17

You created the day and the night;
    you set the sun and the moon in their places;
you set the limits of the earth;
    you made summer and winter.

Ps. 90: 1-2

O Lord, you have always been our home.
Before you created the hills
    or brought the world into being,
    you were eternally God,
    and will be God forever

Mark 1:14-15

After John had been put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee and preached the Good News from God. “The right time has come,” he said, “and the Kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!”

Ephesians 5:15

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like ignorant people, but like wise people.

Genesis 2: 1-4

And so the whole universe was completed. By the seventh day God finished what he had been doing and stopped working. He blessed the seventh day and set it apart as a special day, because by that day he had completed his creation and stopped working. And that is how the universe was created.

One of my biggest struggles is time management. I always seem to have too many things I am trying to fit into my waking hours. When work’s response to my request for help from someone who was good at it, the response of plan and prioritise wasn’t helpful.  When you have more hours of work than hours prioritising still doesn’t get it all done.

So, when I started studying Genesis and the creation story something really spoke to me. Especially when we are trying to reflect on this idea of leaning into God. The bit that made me think was the commentary on the Sabbath.

We can often get distracted with the purpose of Genesis when we get lost in discussions about how God might create in seven days or where did dinosaurs fit in etc. The author of Genesis 1 wasn’t interested in those issues, they were concerned with who God was and making it quite clear how our awesome God was responsible for the existence of everything. Also, about our place within creation – I say within and not over but that can be a discussion for another time.

Genesis also speaks about the priorities we have. 

A feature of Genesis 1 is the focus on time, the sun and moon divide the days, the stars are signs for the seasons, Ps. 104. Order is a gift from God in creation.

When we come to Genesis 2 the significance of time becomes more prominent. We might talk about the ‘right time’ for something.

Genesis 2 speaks of time as the divine act – ‘in the day that the Lord made.’ Time becomes invested with significance because it is part of God’s relationship with his world.

In Hebrew thought, what mattered about time was not so much in what order things happened, as the significance the moment held, both for divine action and human opportunities.

Ecclesiastes 3 reminds up that there is a time for everything.

The New Testament also holds these two views of time in tension. It speaks about events that happened in the ministry of Jesus and the early Church  the ‘chronos’ of events. But also the significance of events, the ‘kairos’ time.So when Jesus opens his preaching ministry wit the words ‘The time [Kairos] is fulfilled (Mk. 1:15) he is not saying that the time for the service has arrived but that God’s time has come. With Jesus a Kairos event happened – a new time.

For many of us who are driven by being late, early, loosing time, gaining time, making time – this is very foreign.

But then we return to Genesis 1 and the recognition by God that the Sabbath is important, good and blessed. Where is this blessing?

As we lean into our back to God, leaning into his embrace,  and see things from His perspective. God in his time (purpose) can impinge on our time (chronos) and transform ours. When we acknowledge everything that God has done for us then we can rest, we can pause, and see things from a different perspective. Not just as a sequence of events the chronos of our lives, but also the encounters we have had with God, the Kairos moments where God has met us, guided us, helped us and pause long enough to gain perspective.  Eternity is no longer a sequence of events reaching out into the distance but a lifestyle that includes the now and gives us direction and purpose. (Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow) ) This does not have to be an event, but a posture of leaning against God, seeing things from God’s perspective and in his perspective and then we can receive the blessing the Sabbath gives.  Make the most of our time (chronos) seeing it as our time (Kairos) – Ephesians 5:15 using our time wisely, seeing it for what it is.

Hymn The Blessing

The Lord bless you

And keep you

Make His face shine upon you

And be gracious to you

The Lord turn His

Face toward you

And give you peace

The Lord bless you

And keep you

Make His face shine upon you

And be gracious to you

The Lord turn His

Face toward you

And give you peace

Amen, amen, amen

Amen, amen, amen

The Lord bless you

And keep you

Make His face shine upon you

And be gracious to you

The Lord turn His

Face toward you

And give you peace

As we receive, we agree, amen

Amen, amen, amen

Amen, amen, amen (amen, amen)

Amen, amen, amen

Amen, amen, amen

May His favour be upon you

And a thousand generations

Your family and your children

And their children, and their children (Repeat)

May His presence go before you

And behind you, and beside you

All around you, and within you

He is with you, He is with you

In the morning, in the evening

In your coming, and your going

In your weeping, and rejoicing

He is for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you

Amen, amen, amen

Amen, amen, amen (may His favour)

May His favour be upon you

And a thousand generations

And your family and your children

And their children, and their children

May His presence go before you

And behind you, and beside you

All around you, and within you

He is with you, He is with you

In the morning, in the evening

In your coming, and your going

In your weeping, and rejoicing

He is for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you

He is for you

Oh He is for you

Oh (amen, amen)

Amen, amen, amen

Amen, amen, amen

May His favour be upon you

And a thousand generations

And your family and your children

Their children, and their children (may his presence)

May His presence go before you

And behind you, and beside you

All around you, and within you

He is with you, He is with you (in the morning)

In the morning (in the evening), in the evening

In your coming, and your going

In your weeping, and rejoicing

He is for you (He is for you), He is for you (He is for you)

He is for you (He is for you), He is for you (He is for you)

He is for you (He is for you), He is for you (He is for you)

He is for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you

The Grace

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