Today's Scripture Reading
A Time for Everything
3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.
Today's devotion for this New Year comes in the form of reflections from the book by Dorothy C. Bass, Receiving the Day, Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time (2001).
Receiving the Day talks of the need for keeping the Sabbath. Advice that struck close to home was to slow down, turn off the internet connection, and simply take some time off. The time off could include going to church, spending time with friends and family, or just taking the day off from our ordinary routine. Rather than letting the gift of time control us, we need to take a new look at this and see how our use of time can be part of the relationship between ourselves and God.
Our time need not be a To-Do list of the things that keep us busy in our regular and hectic lives. One of the things we could put on our To-Do list would be to make regular time for prayer and church, or simply time spent alone in just being with God. Bass also suggests that we look at the gift of time in a new way. In particular we should look at the breaks we have, planned and unplanned. The breaks we get in our lives are just as important as are the busy parts. In fact, these breaks could be even more important than those busy times.
Dorothy Bass explains that following the church calender with the Christian cycle and the special seasons in the church year has a way of helping us refocus attention from the day-to-day routines in life. We need to embrace time's rhythms instead of only allowing our calendar to be the main part in our life. By doing so, we can come to appreciate God's gift of time in our lives, and learn to value how we are “Receiving the Day” that God gives to each one of us.
Review by Marci McGowan