“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving…Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.” Col. 4:2,5
Did the Seahawks win the super bowl? Possibly by the time you read this that question will be answered. As a Lutheran church sign in Kirkland reads, “God doesn’t play favorites but we’re rooting for the Seahawks!”
Thinking about timelines and deadlines makes me wonder about God’s timing. In our study of “the Story” we have been reading through the history of the nations of Israel and Judah. Again and again they were led by kings who chose not to follow God’s law. But God was patient, until finally the time was right for God to allow the nations to suffer the consequences of their disobedience. First the Northern nation of Israel fell in 722 BC and many were taken into captivity in Assyria. Then the Southern nation of Judah fell in 587 BC and the best and brightest among them were taken captive and sent to Babylon. But that’s not the end of the story. On February 8th we will hear of the return of the people of Judah to their land. They waited 70 years for the return to happen. Almost all of those who were taken into exile did not live to see the return. I think about that fact when I am impatient for God to act, or when I wonder why answers to prayer seem to take so long. My timing is rarely God’s timing.
Randy Frazee, in the materials we have been studying for “the Story,” talks about God’s “upper story” and our “lower story.” My desires to “have it now” are part of my lower story. I can only see so far, only understand so very little of what God has in mind for the world. God sees our lower story, but acts in ways that keep the upper story plan moving forward. The Exile is an example. We knew that hope was not lost for the nation of Judah, because God had said that the messiah would be form from that tribe. Judah needed to continue as a nation for God’s plan to unfold. Those who went off into exile didn’t see the fulfilment of this plan during their lives on earth. Likewise, we don’t always see the full purpose of God’s plan while we are alive.
In just a few weeks we will begin to prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate Easter. The beginning of this journey is Ash Wednesday, February 18th. We have been invited to join Renewal Ministries NW in a special worship service that evening at 7 PM at Calvin Presbyterian Church. There will be no choir rehearsal that night, so come instead to Calvin as we mark the beginning of Lent, the season of preparation for Easter. How will you prepare yourself for Easter this year?
A number of years ago a good friend made a resolution during Lent. She made a list of the 40 most important people in her life and, on each day during Lent, she wrote a letter of thanks to a name on her list. She got behind, as many of us do, and I received my letter sometime during the season of Easter. It was a treasured letter – unexpected, honest, hand-written, and thoughtful.
This Lent is an opportunity for you. What will it hold? How will you draw near to God? How will you use this gift of time that we each have been given? The season of Lent consists of 40 days (excluding Sundays.) Lent is long enough to make a difference.
At the end of the letter to the Colossians (4:5) is a reminder to make “the most of the time.” May we make the most of the time we have been given, for the glory of God.
with prayers for a blessed Lent,