The Vicar’s New Year Letter
In our house we have four wall clocks, an alarm clock, at least four wrist watches; and then there are the mobile telephones – with clocks on them – and a couple of computers also with clocks on them. I make that thirteen devices which tell us the time. (Oh, nearly forgot, then there’s the microwave, which has a clock, and the central heating/hot-water-boiler clock, and the one in the car and, also, on the land ‘phones and the one on the cooker….)
And I do not think that we are excessively infatuated with time keeping. Perhaps we should re-think!
Nor do I suspect that our house is anything out of the “norm”. Go on, have a look around your house and see how many devices mark time and I bet you will be surprised. I certainly was.###In the modern world mankind even keeps more accurate time than Mother Nature herself. How long is a day for instance? Twenty- four hours? Nearly. It is, actually, about twenty-three hours, fifty-six minutes and four point one seconds. Then there is what is called the “solar” day which Astronomers often use. That can vary by as much as thirty seconds either way. Astronomers check the “solar” day by activities in other galaxies in the universe! And that varies a bit too.
Time-keeping, however, is important. I am just as annoyed as anyone else if trains/boats/aeroplanes are late; if football mucks up the TV schedule; and if brides turn up excessively late for their weddings – that I am taking!! Many years ago (not in Ilkeston) a bride was so late for her wedding (almost two hours) that the choir, the organist and the bell ringers had all given up and gone home.
As we begin a New Year, the year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen, we are reminded of the broader strokes of time, our own mortality and how everything seems to be ever changing in a relentless frenzy. As Christians we are called upon to use our time wisely and not selfishly. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit walks with us on our journeys and helps us to make sense of all we encounter; even when we might, sometimes, feel a little lost. In 1964 (42 years ago) Bob Dylan wrote: “for the times they are a-changin’” He is still not wrong.
A holy, safe and Blessed New Year to you and yours.
PS Michael can’t count – we have 2 alarm clocks! (Stella)
As a little extra note – Michael would like to thank everyone for their ongoing prayers and good wishes. He hopes to be back, restored to health, very soon.