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Shelswell Group of Parishes

Minister's letter

During June and a bit of July members of the Ministry Team are preaching on the subject of ‘Generous Living’. One topic covered was ‘Time and Possessions’. It forced me to think more about time and what we do with it. There are so many expressions about time: we ‘use’ time, ‘waste’ time, ‘lose’ time, ‘make’ time, ‘spend’ time; we are ‘in’ time, ‘out of’ time, ‘time’ rich, ‘time’ poor, ‘busy’ time, ‘slack’ time; ……. you could probably think of more.

As I considered what to say about ‘Time and Possession’, jostling for place in my mind was a prayer ‘for ourselves’ that I often use at Funeral services:

Lord, teach us so to number our days
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Help us by your grace to use aright
the time that is left to us here on earth;
to remember the needs of others,
to serve and help those in trouble,
and so to live that we may not be afraid to die;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Funeral services are a stark reminder of our own mortality so it’s not surprising that they might raise questions about the use made of days already past, and what use to put them to in the future. Life is a God-given gift, what should we do with it? The prayer says, “Help us by your grace to use aright the time that is left to us here on earth”. How often do any of us consider that question seriously? “I’m too busy”, you may say, I haven’t got time to think!

Well, ‘holiday’ time is coming up, ‘down’ time, as we say. So why not ‘take’ time then to pause and review ‘past’ time, so as to make good use of ‘future’ time?

Panny Wood
Licensed Lay Minister