I’ve recently had three time-pieces repaired. One is a late 19th century regulator clock which used to hang in the hall of the family home when I was a boy. It hasn’t worked for years. Another is a long-case grandfather clock whose rope was wearing thin too quickly. That’s been resolved with a chain. And finally a vintage 1969 watch given me for my 40th birthday has been serviced and is now working well. The funny thing is that they’ve all been waiting to be fixed and at various repairers for a while and yet they’ve all come back at the same time – within just a few days! That got my attention. Is the Lord saying something to me about ‘time’?
At the first Advent, God sent Jesus at just the right time. In fact the gospel-writer Luke takes great pains to show this in Luke 2:1 as he places Jesus very specifically in history. He wants to show that God really did send Jesus and that he was born at a particular time.
When Jesus grew up and began his public ministry he began it by declaring ‘the time has come’ (Mark 1:14), again showing that this was his time! Later, St Paul commented on his death and resurrection as happening at ‘just the right time’ (Romans 5:6).
Most people know the sense of feeling that now is the time to do something. Maybe it’s time to pick something up or lay something down. Perhaps it’s time to invest in a relationship or project or idea. Or maybe it’s time to put something right with someone, or with God or even with yourself. Timing is really important, because (as Jim Collins says): ‘Not all time is equal. Life serves up some moments that count much more than other moments.’
I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when I visited Beacon House of Prayer in Stoke. I went into the basement, a beautifully laid out space with various themed spaces. I stood in one zone and before me was an old clock and I read the words next to it: ‘time is short’. Immediately the Spirit of God came on me and I had a deep experience of God as the words sank deep into my soul and stirred something profound inside of me. I was being reminded that this is not a season to be distracted but to be strategic and focussed and use time well.
Advent was the time for Jesus. What about you this Advent? What is it time for?