Perhaps it’s my age but each year when we get to the end of the year I think where has this year gone and then reflect how quickly time passes. The dawning of a new year is a time to look back and to look forward and perhaps to make those resolutions about time and how we use it both as individuals and as church. I am typing this as Good Morning Britain is celebrating that over 72million volunteer minutes have been pledged to their campaign to end loneliness. Often loneliness creates that sense of time passing slowly and what a difference all those minutes from volunteers will make. The saying ‘make every second count’ comes to mind especially as we begin 2023 together. Maybe we can honestly take stock and consider how we use our time and how we will make changes in 2023?
In our house groups over the last few months the question has come up ‘why did Jesus’ ministry only last for 3 years?’ It is a reasonable question to consider but it raises more questions including if it had been longer what difference would it have made to you and the world? And what more did Jesus need to do to prove who he is and what he calls us to do? Luke records Jesus telling the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in chapter 16.19-31. In the story the rich man dies and pleads with Abraham to warn his brothers so they don’t follow the same fate as him and Jesus concludes;
29 Abraham said, ‘Your brothers have Moses and the prophets to warn them; your brothers should listen to what they say.’ 30 The rich man answered, ‘That is not enough, father Abraham! But if someone were to rise from death and go to them, then they would turn from their sins.’ 31 But Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone were to rise from death.’”
Time runs out on the rich man and he is desperate to tell others and yet we have the gift of time and are too called to share/tell/proclaim to others the good news of Jesus entering the world at Christmas and who waits for all to be invited in their lives so that they too might have ‘life in all its fullness’ here and now. Let’s make 2023 a year to make every minute we have a blessing to others and a year living out Jesus’ Great Commandment and Great Commission! Pray that this time next year you can look back and record the names of all the people you have shared Jesus with.
Your friend and servant