Christmastide is here! I like to use the old word, because it includes Advent and Epiphany. Time and tide are related words. "Tide and Time, wait for no man" meaning that no one is so powerful that they can stop the march of time. In today's world, if we talk about Tide we usually mean a laundry soap. We live close enough to the big lake that we might also think of the ebb and flow of water on the shore line.
But tide is really a deeper word. A division of time, a segment, a rise and fall, a rhythm of movement that transitions beat by beat, dividing this way and that. It is motion and it is life. There is a tide for every season and a time for every activity under heaven.
Time is something we have; "I had the time of my life!" Time is something we mold: "I have to make time for that." Time is something we earn; "I'm taking some time off." Time is something we spend; "Spend some time with me." Time is a gift; "Give me a little of your time." Time is a master; "Time to make the donuts." Time is a limited resource; "I need more time." And while we might say that we have "all the time in the world" we never do.
Once upon a time, we used to say; "Time is money." But in this generation, "money is time."
What do we do when time IS a limited resource, and everyone seems to be making demands on OUR time. It cannot get much worse than when we enter the tide of Christmas. As the tide rises, our culture makes a complete mockery of "Joy to the World" and "Peace on Earth". It makes me recall the quote of Jeremiah the prophet and re-punctuate his words this way..."Peace? Peace? There is no peace!"
My job demands my time. My school demands my time. My family demands my time. My friends demand my time. My hobbies, interests and sports demand my time. My CHURCH demands my time. I've over booked, over scheduled and I have no time left over for myself. I'm drowning in a deficit of TIME. Once upon a time, winter was the tide of slowing down not speeding up! What has become of us? Where is our Sabbath? Did not the Lord our God understand that we would do this to ourselves and give us the gift of Sabbath TIME?
If you want to know what is important to people, simply look at the way they SPEND...Spend their money, use their gifts and spend their TIME. No...That's not entirely true. Because we often spend our time and treasures on things that we KNOW are not what we really want, but somehow we've convinced ourselves that we need them.
We begin a NEW YEAR with Advent...a very good time to TAKE the time your Lord has given us, to review the way we SPEND the TIME we have been given. We might begin by asking a new questions; rather than "What do I want out of this life" we might ask "What does my Lord want for me?"
I encourage you to MAKE TIME for Advent services, "It's About Time" and I invite you to consider TIME and Tide in the light of our Advent hope. May it focus the priorities in your calendar for the year ahead.
Pastor Richard Boshoven