UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
Stewardship - giving of our time
At St Andrew’s we are focussing on three areas of stewardship over three years starting with 2017.
This year we are looking at time, a fundamental part of God’s creation (Genesis 1:14-19). In the beginning, God created time. He created day and night - what we now call the 24-hour day. Some of us try to cram in as much as we can into each day and never feel we have enough time, while some feel that they have too much time on their hands.
A precious resource
We are all aware what a precious resource time is and how quickly it can seem to disappear. We use phrases such as ‘time is of the essence’, ‘time is running out’ and ‘how time flies’ and seem to think that we need to race through life, always anticipating and planning the next event and not always appreciating what is happening now.
We envy those who live life at a slower pace or perhaps we are just frustrated that they don’t keep up with our hectic schedule. Perhaps we sometimes sit back and think that everything is moving too fast and we regret not having time for others or even for our relationship with God.
God gave us time, but how we like to manipulate it for our own ends! We constantly refer to time and seem surprised by the lack of it or sometimes by too much of it. We put the clocks forward and then later on we put them back again. We divide time up to suit ourselves.
Being more creative with time
There are no easy answers to how we should manage our time. We all have different circumstances and personalities which affect how we use our time. On certain Sundays this year we will be investigating time and encouraging ourselves to reflect on how we use it.
Perhaps we need to become more creative in the way that we use our time? It might mean giving up something to make time for an activity which helps ourselves or others, or to make time for developing our relationship with God and doing his work individually or collectively.
It may not be about organising something new in the church but just about participating, for example by attending regularly on a Sunday - particularly important during a vacancy, or attending an event like the new TLC afternoons, staying for coffee and a catch-up with friends, or chatting to visitors after the morning service. If you are not sure what events are on offer check the Happenings topic on this website, look in the magazine or at the items on the back of the Sunday service sheet.
Chart your days
Here is a simple chart you might like to colour in. Just take a couple of days and see how many hours you spend on the activities listed. You might find the chart is a useful way of reflecting on your use of time, but if you dislike the idea and think using the chart is unhelpful then disregard it. There are some questions about the use of your time at the bottom of the chart which you may find helpful to consider or to discuss with others.
We’re not asking you to hand in your chart, but if you do complete it, hang onto it, as it will be interesting to refer to again later in the year.
A Mary or a Martha?
Here is a short story from Luke 10:38-41 about Martha and Mary. Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to Jesus while Martha prepared the food, and then with great frustration pleaded with Jesus to tell Mary to help her. Jesus said ‘Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.’ NLT
Are you a Mary or a Martha?
Adapted from a talk by Heather Saint on 8 January 2017
NLT: Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. All rights reserved.