As I write at the beginning of February, it seems just a moment ago it was Christmas and then in this plan we will travel through Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy week and Easter and Pentecost at which point summer will be just around the corner! Time is a curious thing – it slips by even what you’re not looking, and all the while there is the stuff that needs to be taken care of in our lives, at home, in our families, at work, in church.
In the telling of the creation story of creation, we know that God blesses time (Genesis 2:1-3). Time, like life is a blessing of God and in the beginning, we are being reminded to simply spend time with God. The story of Jesus being tested in the wilderness is time apart with God and Lent encourages us to embrace and do likewise. To allow ourselves simply to be in the presence of God without a list, agenda or anything else. In Mark’s account of the gospel after learning of the death of John the Baptist and before responding to the crowds (feeding of the five thousand) Jesus says to the disciples:
“Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Mark 6.31
There is need to pause amongst the everyday of life and take a breath and the authorised version captures it well – a time to come ‘apart’ in the presence of God. As Jesus notes elsewhere there will always be demands on our time but hardwired into us, in the act of creation, is the need for us simply to take time to be in the presence of God.
The blessing of God rest upon you, with love, Nick