Just Add Time

Once upon a time, people measured time by the rising and setting of the sun, the cycles of the moon, by the changing seasons, by genealogies, by birth and death. In those days, childbirth and childhood disease, war and plague routinely cut life short, and men imagined magnificent structures, drew up plans, and set to work building great cathedrals they knew full-well they would never live to see completed.

Generations devoted themselves to building such architectural wonders. They built them in hope and labored in faith that generations they would never see would continue to worship God as they did. Many of these structures have stood firm, towering over centuries and generations. Today their pinnacles overlook a landscape of scurrying people – people measuring their time by minutes, seconds, and nanoseconds.

In our time, speed is of the essence. Our heads down, our focus narrow, the wisdom of the ages eludes us. As we focus on maximizing our moments of pride and pleasure, the turning of a decade and the dwindling of life take us by surprise. The long view of the cathedral-builders is hard to wrap our heads around. But this is the view of the Scriptures.

Our Monday evening ladies’ Bible study has spent the last five months in 1 Peter. We noted many themes in Peter’s letter, but one remained hidden in plain sight until this week when Pastor Matt introduced his latest sermon series and the little phrase, “just add time”.

Time was always of the essence for Peter. He was known for his hasty words and actions. But after Christ was raised, Peter’s vantage rose with him. As if from cathedral height, he sees the beginning and the end of a road carved out by the “the foreknowledge of God.” The people travelling that road are called God’s “elect.” Noah and the prophets labored like cathedral builders on that road, preparing way for a savior they would not live to see.

Peter pointed to the moment God “caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” And he saw our destination: “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven.” But he also saw that between the past and our future is a long and treacherous present.

Peter knew we would need the big picture to endure. His word to us, in essence, is to remember the past, keep our eye on the future’s promise and “just add time.”

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1.13

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