Once Upon a Time…

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Once upon a time

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.   Genesis 1:1

Every good story starts this way, once upon a time. Typically before the place or the characters are invited into the telling, the time is set. The story God is telling is no different. Prior to including all the characters and the scenery, God reminds us by His Word, that time matters.

Time, space, place… necessary elements for life to exist. Time being the element in which all else exists that exists. And it is time which God not only blesses — as He did with all that He created (cf. Genesis 1-2) — but time is the first thing He sets aside as special, unique, to be hallowed.

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy…  Genesis 2:3

It makes me a bit more careful when I speak of killing time, or wasting time, especially as I am waiting or wanting for a time other than the present moment. I forget there is no other time than the present moment in which we live and exist. It is only in this present time we can remember and anticipate other times.  And so, time is holy in that it is always a time when I can recall the wonderful works of God and anticipate His precious promises to us.

In certain seasons of life it can seem like the speed of time is altered. For example, there’s never enough and it seemingly passes all too quickly when the times are good. There is always too much and seemingly never passes quick enough when the times are bad. The reality is time passes minute by minute as it has since that first day in Genesis 1.

When we consider God’s perspective on the holiness of time, there is no need to speed up nor slow down time — for God is present in and through all times.

And there was evening and there was morning, one day.   Genesis 1:5

With God the day begins at sunset (evening) and ends the following sunset. This is the Hebrew understanding of Sabbath which begins on Friday at sunset and ends Saturday at sunset. Which means God initiates the day while you sleep. While you are at rest, the God who never sleeps nor slumbers is preparing your day. He has gone ahead of you to make a way (Deuteronomy 31:8).

What a relief! You wake to find God ahead of you, making the way before you. The level path available, the way forward and through even the valley of salmavet — of death’s shadow, deep darkness.

Perhaps that is why God once upon a time instructed us to keep (observe, enjoy, delight in) the sabbath — of setting aside the seventh day, as holy time. From sunset to sunset to rest, remember, prepare. What if the gift of sabbath were to be reclaimed, remembering that once upon a time we were created for His good pleasure, His work and will in us? What if the time of our lives is actually meant to be caught up into the story of God who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth for us to dwell in, to flourish in, to enjoy?

From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised.    Psalm 113:3

What if once upon a time could be enjoyed, made holy, in this present moment? Perhaps that is the life in which we are to live and move and have our being — the life which is indeed ours in Christ!

Pastor Jon