Eternity has been stitched into your heart – Ecclesiastes 3:11 (TPT)
The Perfect Space – The Time Series – Part 4
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Mark 1:15 (ESV)
When the Israelites observed the Passover, they didn’t do it to remember the Exodus. They did it to partake in and experience it for themselves. It was the actualization of the truth of the experience, not a mere remembering of the facts.
The many festivals and feasts that the Jews observed in the Bible (and still do) is what the Bible means when its various writers said “God’s appointed time” – it was a time to stitch the times together, in a sense, to experience what God had done back then, and in this way, was still doing. Hence, the Exodus, (new creation, redemption, salvation) was re-actualized each year in their lives.
It was happening as they participated in the ceremonies and rituals of the feast; they were becoming one with the experience of the redemption.
We tend to view time as a linear marker of the events of our lives. “Like sand through the hourglass…” But the ancient Hebrews believed time to be the rhythm of life more than the measurement of it. Time was the content of an experience that they went through or did not yet exist. For them, the content, or context, actualized the event or time.
When the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote his book, he didn’t do it from the point of view of, “there is a time for everything. Therefore, there must be a time to be born and a time to die, a time to kill and a time to heal…” He had observed the “times” of life, as in the content and context of different “times,” and then wrote, “there is a time for everything.” It’s an encouragement not around marking time in a diary or calendar for specific things, but to make the most of whatever ‘time’ we are in.
Time was always present tense for them.
The first words of Jesus that Mark records are, “The time is fulfilled…”
There is enough hatred and greed and war and terror and ignorance in the world to incite the end of all things.
Sometimes, I don’t know what to do with all the darkness. I don’t know how to make things right. I can’t guarantee that the world is going to be safe for my children, in fact, the opposite is probably a fair perception.
BUT, at the same time, there is beauty and wonder happening too: babies are born, forgiveness mends hearts, bridges are built by grace, hope is ignited through kindness, love rises above it all. The two contrasting possibilities of darkness and light are alive within us and among us side by side. While the Kingdom of God is still on its way, at the same time, “time is fulfilled – The Kingdom of God is at hand.” Hate and love, war and peace, confusion and conviction – the Divine is stitching together the time.
Dr. Alexander Shaia says that “[The book of] Mark carries the theme: how do we move through suffering.” (1) How do we move through the unexplainable, the darkness, waiting, longing, brokenness…? Those times where we are looking for “God’s perfect timing” to save the day?
Rather than waiting for when the time is up, use the time to look for the Divine IN the moment. Where you are right now is the perfect space for God to reveal his kingdom and grace to you in new and different ways.
“Eternity has been stitched into your heart” (Ecc 3:11) so you can give yourself the gift of time, so you can live this moment fully, in the midst of whatever time you are in. His Kingdom is here; it’s within you.
Redemption is alive inside of you; not just a memory or a moment of time in history, but taking place in your life at this very moment.
Live to the rhythm.
1). Alexander Shaia. Heart and Mind, The Four Gospel Journey for Radical Transformation. Pg 55. Mosaic Press.