Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Time to "Spring Forward"

If it’s all the same to the U.S Government, is there some reason why we can’t move the time-change to Friday/Saturday instead of Saturday/Sunday?  It’s a killer on church attendance.  I know, that’s not the government’s problem; that’s a Christian’s problem.

And yesterday it was this preacher’s problem.  I dutifully set my alarm clock ahead one hour before I went to bed.  When it went off Sunday morning, I dragged myself out of bed, showered and spent time with the Lord.  That’s when I noticed that my computer hadn’t changed the time yet, nor had the cable TV box.  I thought those changes were automatic.  It took me a few minutes until I realized that my alarm clock also changes automatically, so by setting it forward an hour at bedtime, the dang thing changed one more hour forward in the night and woke me up two hours early.  Arghhh!  And since one of the first things I learned in seminary preaching class is, “Don’t fall asleep during your own sermon,” I could have used that extra hour.  Oh well, church happened.  People showed up.  I stayed awake.  And God did His thing in spite of me and in spite of the time change.  (Of course, as we learn in Psalm 121, God “never slumbers or sleeps”—must be nice on time-change Sunday.)

Anyway, since I had some extra time on Sunday morning, I wrote a prayer for time-change Sunday.  Maybe it will encourage you as it encourages me.  

Good morning, Lord, on this time change Sunday in which our government instructs us to set our clocks ahead one hour to, as they put it, “spring forward.”  Well, it’s a little hard to spring at all with an hour’s less sleep.  It’s no big deal to you; you never slumber or sleep.  But it’s not so hot for us.  But you are here and we are here and we know you will do a work among us.

Lord, may part of that work challenge us to “spring forward” in more significant ways than the setting of a clock.  Help us to spring forward in our love for you.  Help us to spring forward in our willingness to deny self, take up our cross, and follow you.  Help us to spring forward in our love for those in need and those who are not like us.  Would you help us to spring forward in our grace-giving to others, so that we might give grace instead of grudges, mercy instead of judgment? 

And would you help us spring forward in our commitment to being church together: springing forward to humble ourselves, love one another, and have the mind in us that is the mind in you—so that we will be a people who help instead of hurt, love instead of hate, include instead of dismiss, and seek to understand instead of condemn.

And help us to keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith and the forgiver of our sins, who sprang downward from heaven to earth to die for our sins and who sprang upward from the grave to the resurrected life so that we might have the life that is really life.  We can’t do this stuff without you, you know.  So we’re counting on you as we pray in Jesus’ name, amen. 

May God answer that prayer in your life and mine!

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