‘It’s a wonderful life’ made in 1946; ‘Dad’s Army’ made in 1971; ‘Erin Brockovich’ made in the year 2000. Just a few of the films I watched over Christmas that were made 74 years, 49 years and 20 years ago. Each time I watched the film I was caught up in one thought, ‘where has the time gone?’ Life has flown by. Do you ever ask yourself how you got to the age you are today so quickly?
We move to a new chapter. Approximately 25 years have gone by in the turn of a page. The CEV says ‘Years later …’ The NIV says, “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea.” (Matthew 3 v 1) Luke has the gap shorter because we have the story of Jesus as a 12 year old boy in the Temple.
“In those days …” What has happened in those silent years?
Mary and Joseph have had more children. Jesus grew within a family. You also know the security of a family but also perhaps the turmoil that families go through.
Joseph has most probably died. Jesus has known grief. Your loved ones have died also and you have had to contend with all the emotion of that.
Jesus became a carpenter/builder. Jesus has known tiredness and joys of work. You have known the successes but also perhaps the instability of work.
After a period of time, two men would emerge from different places, one from the Judean desert and the other from Nazareth to fulfil the reason for their life. Yesterday I caught the end of a news report about Marie McCourt who has campaigned for what is called ‘Helen’s Law’ after her daughter who was murdered in 1988 and whose killer has not revealed where her body is. The law will go a long way to make sure that a murderer is not paroled without confessing those important details. Marie McCourt said this, “As a person of faith I believe I have been put here on this earth for this reason, Helen’s law.” Today I will write a eulogy for a funeral I am conducting this week. As in all funerals details will be given of the person’s life. I will speak of perhaps his reason for life was when he and his wife rescued a girl from a difficult life and adopted her. That decision was a turning point for that girl’s life and it could be said the reason for his.
There are high points in our lives that are behind us and in front of us still and we need to highlight them even whilst we are alive and draw encouragement from them. The enemy of your soul will do all he can to say you haven’t done anything with your life and it simply isn’t true. God has done amazing things through you the great and the small and you should be thankful.
I was moved the other day reading an old man’s Facebook status. He had been a minister all his working life. His wife has died and he is struggling with grief. He took some pictures of his new apartment he has moved into and though it could rightfully be said that the most active part of his life is behind him, he wrote how he still has a reason to live, he writes to people to encourage them and he studies the Bible.
We are going to need to adjust throughout this life. Today, the UK has entered into another national lockdown, more adjustments are needed, but the reason for our life continues.
Life passes by very quickly, live in the moment, take your opportunities, adjust and be who you are called to be. Be ready for a new chapter even after many silent years.