Knowing the Time

1/07/2024 – Quarterly Exhortation

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. Rom 13:11

In reading Romans chapter 13 we notice in verse 11 that the discussion elevates from specific instructions (obligation to authorities, loving your neighbor, paying taxes) to an appeal to our temporal awareness when Paul writes: Know the Time.  Temporal awareness is our ability to comprehend time, specifically our life span.  That is:  the beginning, length and the end of the time we have been allocated.  Then comes eternity, when time will be no more.

We readily acknowledge that our time on earth is limited and will even joke about our own demise with gallows humor, though this humor often serves to distract ourselves from the uncomfortable thought. There is also a tendency to push thoughts of mortality off to the side by allowing immediate, day-to-day plans and priorities to dominate our awareness.  This mental avoidance is, as the saying goes, “putting the blinders on”. Living life with blinder mentality is the the exact opposite of “knowing the time”.

Perhaps this is why Paul concludes his everyday instructions with the reality-check reminder that the things we do and the things we refrain from doing are ultimately with the viewpoint of the brevity of  life. We must serve the Lord with the urgency of knowing – you would agree - that we have precious little time to do so.  We are quickly running out of time.

Jesus perfectly exemplifies this awareness:

John 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

Our quarterly thoughts this year will remind us of the urgency of the work we have work to do.

Given our numbered days, we must be “about our Father’s business” (Luke 2:49).

As individuals and as a congregation we can do more.  Let us all resolve not just to do more, but much more starting today.

This year we will be working to engage the congregation in participating in the work of service more, in ways we have not done in the past in an organized way.  We pray that you will support and contribute to these efforts and work diligently, setting aside personal time to devote to spiritual opportunities and obligations – because we Know the Time.