God is Lord of time, and of eternity
Philip Young recently presented a paper to the Quaker Universalist Group Conference on 'Life, Time and Eternity from a Christian perspective’. He shares a short extract from that paper here.
I want to talk about time. As human beings we all experience the passing of time. We call it Chronological time or Clock time. It consists of years, months, weeks, days, minutes, and seconds. This time appears to us to be linear, and the Christian story seems to recognise the linear nature of chronological time.
The Genesis story recognises a beginning. ‘In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void’ (Genesis chapter 1 verse 1). So, the Christian answer to what came before the beginning, was that God was at the beginning, presumably, already in existence. It was God who created everything out of nothing or, at the very least, out of a formless void, whatever that might mean!
The Christian story is that Jesus was at the beginning too. John’s Gospel states, ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God’ (John’s Gospel chapter 1 verse 1). And in Jesus, ‘The Word became flesh and lived among us’ (verse 14).
Christians also believe there will be an end to this present world, and that Jesus, the Son of God, will sit on the throne of God as the Lamb of God. In this ‘new heaven and a new earth’ ‘there will be no more night, they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever’. (See the Book of Revelation Chapters 21 and 22 for the full story).
So, the Christian view of time is that, in its present form, there will be an end to the world as we know it, and it will be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth, where God is on the throne and will reign forever and ever.
For Christians, God is Lord of time. God is in control of time. He was there at the beginning, and will be there at the end, and he is present within history, and at all times in between. In Revelation Chapter 22 verse 13 it states, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end’.
The books of the Bible tell the story of God’s interaction with men and women, first through the people of Israel, and then through Jesus's incarnation and ministry, his cross and resurrection, by the sending of his Holy Spirit, and by the founding of the church, and the spreading of his Kingdom throughout the world.
If time is in God’s hands, then isn’t it worth considering giving your time to the Lord of all time? Will you let him be the Alpha and Omega of your life?
Philip’s full paper can be accessed here.
The image above is from pixabay.com
Philip is an Anglican, Quaker, and a member of the Third Order of Franciscans, and now lives in Felixstowe. Until July 2014 he was the Diocesan Environmental Officer for the Norwich Diocese. In June 2017 he stood as an Independent Candidate for the General Election in the Suffolk Coastal Constituency. He is now Associate Priest at St. John and St. Edmund in Felixstowe and a freelance writer on spiritual and political matters. He is available to run Quiet Days, give talks, presentations or to preach and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Philip is developing a new website www.revolutionoflovenow.com.
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