“There’s is time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven” Ecc.3:1.
Our return to Greenwich Mean Time at the end of the month thrusts us into another annual cycle. Again, it reminds us of the transient nature of our days. The spring passes into summer, the summer into autumn and the autumn into winter.
October brings with it the Abingdon Fair, a time of fun and celebration, followed by a time of Remembrance which is a very significant time in itself, and before we know it we will be arriving at Advent and Christmas! Each of these times will colour and shape our worship and activities and each time points us to special periods of preparation and celebration.
At a personal level the passage of time can bring changes in us, leading hopefully to a little more maturity in our faith, and a little more understanding in what it means to faithfully live out our Christian lives in this present age. Perhaps this is what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote,
We are… being changed from one degree of glory to another. (2 Cor 3:18)
This, of course, can only happen if we are tuned in enough to let God mould and shape us from the inside out. The challenges and the opportunities are real for us today, and the issues society raises for all of us are complex. By the end of October we should supposedly be leaving the European Union; whatever your views on this, it is something that we should be spending time praying about.
We know the world we live in is changing rapidly in the political, environmental, scientific, cultural and technological spheres alone.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and wonder where does faith and practice fit in amid all these changes. But don’t forget that the gospel is not yesterday’s good news – it always seeks to address the present realities from a God’s eye view perspective on life. Jesus demonstrated that God is at the centre of human existence. No matter how clever we think we are, no matter what advancements we may have made, and yes, some of them are undoubtedly for the better, we should not get too arrogant. Many people will ask, is society getting better in all areas? Are there threats and uncertainties today which we have never faced before? Are we as tolerant as we think we are? Have we got time for others as we once did?
Affluence does not necessarily bring about happiness or a fairer society. The values and principles that Jesus gave to life are more needed than ever. So let us not be discouraged. We still have a gospel to proclaim.