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Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Relation of Time and Meaning

Let us say you have a favorite poem that you consider beautiful and meaningful. Today you offer to read it to us. You read the poem with expression and meaning, and we are all deeply moved. In retrospect we note that it took about three minutes for you to read the poem using necessary emphasis. Now suppose we impose a time constraint of 25 seconds on your rereading of the same poem.  Obviously the time constraint will eviscerate all meaning from the poem as we watch you in rapid fire monotone nervously speed through the text.  Thus we see the relationship between meaning and time. With unrealistic deadlines, there is no room for meaning; or conversely, the longer the time (with an appropriate time), the greater the possible meaning. Christians believe in eternity and eternal life and derive a measure of assurance and tranquility therefrom.  With sights on eternity, we live methodically with purpose and meaning – "reading" life with all due regard. This is a primary benefit of belief in eternal life.  It might also be called "making time for the ethical dimension."

Today pastor David Miller preached a sermon regarding worry.  Note that in the  foreshortened reading above, trimmed time could easily morph into worry and anxiety for everyone.  For relief, we could make a joke of the second "noise" saying in effect "live, laugh, and be merry for in 25 seconds we will die." An unrealistic timeline and worry absent an eternal perspective turn life into a hollow wasteland devoid of meaning or else a nihilistic farce filled with camp.

A Matter of Faith-----

"The Final Picture"
By Julie Ackerman
Below quoted from: Our Daily Bread
November 12, 2014

What started as an empty 11-acre field in Belfast, Northern Ireland, ended up as the largest land portrait in the British Isles. Wish, by artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, is made from 30,000 wooden pegs, 2,000 tons of soil, 2,000 tons of sand, and miscellaneous items such as grass, stones, and string.

At the beginning, only the artist knew what the final artwork was going to look like. He hired workers and recruited volunteers to haul materials and move them into place. As they worked, they saw little indication that something amazing was about to emerge. But it did. From the ground, it doesn’t look like much. But from above, viewers see a huge portrait—the smiling face of a little girl.

God is doing something on a grander scale in the world. He’s the artist who sees the final picture. We’re His “fellow workers” (1 Cor. 3:9) who are helping to make it a reality. Through the prophet Isaiah, God reminded His people that it is He who “sits above the circle of the earth” and “stretches out the heavens like a curtain” (Isa. 40:22). We can’t see the final picture, but we continue on in faith, knowing that we’re part of an amazing work of art—one that is being created on earth but will be best seen from heaven.

While sometimes I think I can see the big picture,
Lord, my heart knows it sees so little. I’m
thankful that You are working out Your beautiful
will in this world, and I can trust You.

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