Take a look

January 4, 2019

winter landscape panorama with sunset and the forestIt is conventionally thought that the month of January is named after Janus, the Roman god of gates, beginnings and transitions. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. In the UK as we look back to 2018 we probably recall the entanglements of the Brexit negotiations and as we look ahead to 2019 we may wonder how it’s all going to be resolved.

As a Christian when I look back in time my focus is on the cross of Jesus Christ where my salvation was secured and when I look into the future I live in the light of his anticipated return to earth. But my looking doesn’t stop there: I look up to see that God provides the power and strength for me to live in a dangerous world; I look in to see that God lives in me and has promised never to leave me; And I look around at my fellow Christians reminding me that we travel together on this journey as part of a Christian community. In 2019 I hope to deepen my vision in all of these aspects of my Christian walk.

If you are a Christian and are concerned about what the next year holds for you why not try and do the same. If you are not a Christian and you are apprehensive and anxious about the future, 2019 might just be a good time to take a look at this thing called Christianity. It is well worth a look.

Barry Robinson (Barry.robinson@gracecom.church)

The Beginning of Time

February 2, 2018

I was making up for lost time this week by watching catch-up TV and I came across an interview with an horologist.

He was talking about the history of timepieces, starting with the first crude and inaccurate mechanical clocks. Then, around 1650, the invention of the pendulum revolutionised the time keeping business, enabling the production of precision clocks and watches. Today’s timepieces are incredibly accurate; the current best being the 3D quantum gas atomic clock which will not lose or gain a single second over 15 billion years.

Nowadays it’s hard to imagine a time before we had devices that can measure time. Even harder to imagine a time before time itself was a thing.

Scientists conjecture that time probably came into being at the event they call the Big Bang. The early Christian philosopher Augustine said time was a part of God’s creation, so time didn’t happen until we did. Interestingly, science and Christianity broadly agree that time didn’t exist until matter existed.

So if God created time alongside everything else, the next question is why? Since God existed before time began, the only logical answer is, he made time for us to live in.

A staggering thought, but also an immensely encouraging one. Isn’t it nice to know that the creator of the unverse has all the time in the world for you?

Peter Mill

Tick tock ti..

August 18, 2017

There’s something comforting about the sound of Big Ben’s ringing out the time, and now, according to the news this week, it’s possible that, for health and safety reasons, it’ll be silenced for up to four years!!! Is this the end of time as we know it?

Some think that time is coming to an end for other reasons: the threat of nuclear war, the climate crisis, terrorism, and general instability around the world. Will the four horsemen come riding into the scene at any moment?

Of course, even if Big Ben stopped chiming todaytomorrow would come and time will continue. And, interestingly, even if humanity’s time came to an end, God’s time for us is not finished.

God exists before, during and after our “time”. He’s neither confined nor controlled by it. Otherwise time would be greater than God. In fact, one of the biblical names for God is “the Eternal”.

And, it is because God is both gracious and eternal, that there is hope for us in this finite world

Even if time runs out.

james.henderson@gracecom.org.uk

Time for grace

December 27, 2013

TardisNew Year 2014 is another reminder that our life is punctuated by the passage of time.

We go from one time event to another. The clock ticks on relentlessly. As the song by John Rowles goes: “so much to do, if I only had time”.

Time was in the news this week in the UK. Or rather, time travel. The most watched section of television was when a fictional time traveller was granted more time to live out his regenerated lives. Some estimates suggest that up to a fifth of the UK population had tuned in to view what would happen. Maybe some of you know this program: do you know his name?

In the series there is the idea that you could travel back to when time first began. How the world was at the beginning has fired the imagination of many a scientist and science fiction writer.

Did something exist before time began? Is that even possible? The Bible provides an answer: God. It says that God favoured us “before the beginning of time” (2 Timothy 1:9 NIV UK). In the beginning was God, and he is for us. Did you get that? Before the universe began, before the existence of the laws of physics, before the dimensions of time and space came into being, there is God’s gracious love for us. 

Maybe during this holiday season, we have a lot of time on our hands. That’s more time to enjoy God’s love.

You are God’s favorite.

Hold that thought as you begin 2014.

james.henderson@gracecom.org.uk