Time Is Passing, But There Are Days Ahead
Ash Wednesday will soon be here. And, if you’re like me, you’re thinking, “Wait a second, it was just Christmas two weeks ago.” You would be correct in a sense – no, it has already been more than two weeks since Christmas, but you are correct in that time seems to be moving way too fast. And we are saddened that it does so.
But why are you sad in those moments that you realize time has passed by so quickly? During those days past, there were probably many times when you thought time was not moving quickly enough. Many of those days were probably normal (or even what you might call boring). Maybe, depending on what has happened, many of those days were filled with grief. Yet even if those were all true, I bet you’d still be a little saddened to hear that time is moving by so quickly.
I’d bet that more than a little of that demoralization comes from the recognition that time is passing, and that we are mortal. In the back of our minds is the understanding that, as those days, weeks, and months go by, they start to add up (and there is no subtracting them). Every January 1st reminds you that another whole year has passed, meaning you are a year older.
The passage of time saddens us because we know what is coming at some point for all of us – death – but that we yearn to live forever. We don’t want to die. We like living and working, spending time with family and friends. Even though there are griefs, nevertheless we like life.
I don’t blame you. The desire to live is God-given. He is the one who gave us life, and who wants to be with us forever. Yet Ash Wednesday is a reminder that “you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” It is a reminder that death has come into the world because of sin.
But I want you to know that Ash Wednesday also points us to something else: Holy Week. The season of Lent points us towards the immortal one, towards the one who came to take on our flesh, our sin, our mortality, our death, in order that He might put them to death, and then rise to new life.
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14-15)
Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and sending of the Holy Spirit is His answer to our problem to the fact that we can’t turn the calendar back. Because He has risen, we don’t have to turn the clock back. No, because we have died with Him in our baptism, Paul tells us that “we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.” I
Because of Jesus, the Father promises that you will live forever. No more need to worry about the days quickly going by, as you aren’t going to run out of days ahead. (Pastor Adle, 2016)