‘Excuse me, do you have the time?’

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, February 4, 2016

How do you tell time?  Devices all around us “mark” time.  Wall clocks, wristwatches, bedside alarms and kitchen clocks abound.  In recent years we have added cell phones, “smart devices” and whole-house programs to keep us on schedule each day.  I still love seeing a hallway grandfather clock, or a garden sundial.  My ears always tune to bells of a town hall clock or a church carillon.  Beyond telling hour by hour, we look to calendars, robins and daffodils, and colors in the trees to guide us in broader increments.

With all of these methods, one might think that we are a finely tuned society, knowing where to be and when.  However, even over the basics of each day we still struggle.  We forget appointments, we miss taking a medication, or a person’s birthday creeps up on us.  Even the most significant pieces of life can arrive and we wonder, “Is it really TODAY?! Where did the time go?!”

Each spring, the church celebrates Easter.  We recall that three days after the violent execution of Jesus of Nazareth, his disciples found his tomb empty and met him alive again.  (Go read the Gospel of Luke, chapters 23 and 24.)  It is a stunning story:  Jesus lives again after death, and God would suffer everything to be reconnected with us.  This story has shaped our turning of history (B.C./A.D.), our weekly rhythms (Sunday, the first day of the week, the day they found Jesus’ tomb empty), and our annual calendar.

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As central as this story is to the world, we can easily rush right past it.  We wouldn’t miss a best friend’s wedding, would we?  We would anticipate it for weeks, even months (even years).  Yet the gaping, empty tomb of Christ can become a mere pothole that we barely notice.

God wants us to know this story and be aware of the Spirit of the Living Christ every day.  So let’s take time and not miss it.  Feb. 10 begins the 40-day season prior to Easter known as Lent.  It is a season to slow down, to listen and to be synchronized with God.  Take moments each day to seek God’s guiding will.  Join weekly in worship with others to celebrate what God has done.  Remember always:  to be Christian is to be changed by God’s grace and to live together as reflections of Christ to others — every minute, every day. 

REV. MICHAEL KENDALL is lead pastor of Farmville United Methodist Church. His email mkendall@farmvilleumc.org.