In the Sunday school chapel at Saint Luke’s Parish, my former congregation, there was a Calendar of the Church Year, a giant clock with colored segments marking the different seasons and a hand that swept around that clock, ticking off the 52 Sundays of the year. Twelve o’clock is blue Advent, then a tiny white sliver for the twelve days of Christmas, then the green of Epiphany, and so on through the purple of Lent, the red of Pentecost, green for the long season after Pentecost. Every Sunday some child would come forward to move the hand of the liturgical clock, sweeping us away in time.
As is often the case, adults could use a day in children’s chapel. It would help us to check not just the clock on our wrist or on our phone, but the timepiece ticking away the seasons of life. That sweeping hand, moving not from minute to minute, but from season to season, helps us to understand the broad scope of time, and especially the Advent scriptures foretelling the end of the age and the coming of the Son of Man.
As a visible picture of the progress of God’s time, that’s what the big wheel in children’s chapel is telling us: there is an End. Time is going somewhere. There is a point and purpose for it all, even if it is not always immediately apparent to us, and God holds it all in love. If we know there’s an end—a fact we mortals oddly and conveniently forget—we will know where we are in the drama of life. What time is it? Am I living only second by second, or am I watching the seasons change before my very eyes?
Since you know the end from the beginning, how should you live, today?