Time and Timing
One of the benefits of a bible reading programme is that there’s no escape from the difficult passages! Take the other day as an example, when I was directed to Ecclesiastes, chapter 9: “This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: the same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterwards they join the dead.”
Of course the writer lived before the advent of Christ, so that may help to explain his pessimism. Elsewhere, though, he exhibits a realism which I find refreshing and helpful; nowhere more so than in chapter 3, where he reflects upon time, beginning with this thought: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
Coupled with Michel Quoist’s reflection on time, which he concludes by saying, “Lord, I have time, all the time that you give me”, I have what I need to guide me in my use of time, which I try to treat as a precious resource. It should not be wasted, but treasured. It should be shared freely with others but with some kept back for myself. All of it belongs to the Lord.
Thus I have come to a conclusion which I’ve been wrestling with: that it is time to draw a line under this blog which, after all, was begun when I was Interim Moderator, as a means of providing additional information about our congregations and our city to those who might be looking at our parish profile.
This need has been fulfilled, in Rev. Anita, whom God called to be our minister.
Other congregations of course are vacant, and God has called me to be an Interim Moderator once again, in Monikie & Newbigging and Murroes & Tealing, and to undertake some Locum’s duties in the three Broughty Ferry churches which are working towards union.
The only downside to these appointments is that it restricts my involvement in Meadowside St Paul’s and St Andrew’s, and that, as much as the time factor, has been critical to my decision to bring my blog to a conclusion. If I’m not there, then I can’t write about what’s going on, nor take photos of activities, and I feel quite sorry and uncomfortable about that.
God has designed us, however, to be in only one place at a time, and I trust him to take me forward – to take us forward – to wherever he wishes us to go.
Here are 3 photos, 1 from the city and 1 from each of the churches, to illustrate going forward: DISCOVER, BEFRIEND, GROW.
A now familiar site by the River Tay
and in the background
A more recent addition
Noticeboard at the gates to the Terrace
leading to St Andrew's Church
Sunflower planted from seed by the young people in the garden of Meadowside St Paul's
May I conclude with a prayer I wrote for a recent open meeting of members from Monikie & Newbigging and Murroes & Tealing with folk from Monifieth Parish Church, at which we began our joint discussion on Mission Planning.
Our Father in heaven
We are your children
learning from you
growing up into knowledge of you
always in need of your acceptance and reassurance,
your gentleness and forgiveness
Let’s picture in our mind’s eye for a moment a father on earth
- a dad swinging his child up into the air
making her scream not with terror but with delight
because it’s fun, and he knows he is safe with his dad
So it should be with us, Lord
So it should be with us
A feeling of dead certainty that we are safe with you
that you will show us the way to go
the wide road to avoid because it’s too easy
the light at the end of the tunnel
It won’t be all safe harbours
- there will be storms at sea some of the time
But you will not desert us, Lord
you will not desert us
And so we pray, for ourselves,
and for one another as members of Christ’s body on earth
that we will value the gifts that each brings to the table
listen and respond
evaluate and elaborate
and above all, pray for your wisdom and guidance
through our Saviour Jesus Christ
King and Head of the Church in this place
and throughout the world