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From the vicar - Jan 2024

30/12/2023

“The Most Precious New Year’s Gift of All”

The most precious gift you will receive this New Year, which God graciously offers to each of us, is - quite simply - the gift of time.
Now, God doesn’t give us this gift in one big lump sum, which would be totally overwhelming and unmanageable (after all, 31,536,000 seconds in one year is an overwhelming lump sum, by anyone’s measure!). Instead, God gives it to us by means of a very special type of ‘bank account’, which is wonderfully depicted in the following (anonymous) reflection entitled Sands of Time:

If you had a bank that credited your account every morning
with £86,400, that carried no balance over from day to day,
allowed you to keep no cash in your account, and every
evening cancelled whatever part of the amount you failed
to use during the day, what would you do? Draw out every
penny, of course, and use it to your advantage!

The fact is, each of us has such a bank, and its name is TIME.

 
Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night,
it writes off as lost whatever of this we have failed to invest to
good purpose. It carries over no balance, and it allows no
overdrafts. Each day it opens a new account for us; each night
it burns the balance of the day. If you fail to use the day’s
deposit, the loss is yours – there is no going back. There is no
drawing against ‘tomorrow’. It is up to each of us to invest
this precious fund of hours, minutes and seconds in order to
get from it the most out of today.

 
Wow! Just think – for every day in the coming New Year, God will credit us with 86,400 seconds to spend. What a tremendous gift! In our pressurised daily lives, we often say, ‘There just aren’t enough hours in the day’ to get everything done. But, given the gift of 86,400 seconds each day, the question is not actually ‘whether we have the time’ (we do!), but rather – in 2024, how will we choose to use the time we have ‘in the bank’ each day of our lives?

Will our daily use of those 86,400 seconds include not only work, but also time for play and refreshment? Will we spend enough of our time not only with (or on) ourselves, but also with cherished family members and friends, and joining in the life of our local community with all it has to offer? And what about our response to the one who so graciously gives us each and every moment of our existence – what portion of our time will we give to God each day, and each week, through private prayer as well as public worship and community service, so that – being truly aware of his amazing gift of time to us - we live out every moment of our lives with a tremendous sense of wonder and joy?

 
My hope and prayer in this New Year is for each of us to ‘empty the time bank’ every day, using each moment wisely and thoughtfully - in the service of God, in meeting the needs of those around us, and in developing our own gifts and aptitudes as persons wonderfully crafted in the very image of God!

Your Vicar and friend,
John Allan

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