Good, but for time.
I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.
Last week we encountered the first disciples and Jesus’ call to come follow Him. We heard Nathaniel wonder, like we may from time to time, if anything good could come from him and Jesus’ answer to all of us.
Jesus saw something in the disciples that surprised them. Instead of seeing rotten, no good sinners, people out of whom nothing good could come, Jesus saw people He loved and with a great future. Jesus knows the good that can come from people who follow Him and invites us.
Reassured that we are loved, and with expectations of greatness set for us by Jesus, what stops us from following Jesus more closely, from being that disciple who proclaims the closeness of the kingdom, of giving others the opportunity to repent and know that they are loved and also have a great future?
The common response, Good can come from me, but for time. Good can come from me, Jesus says so, but for time…
The answer is not to ‘make time.’ It is not that easy. We are pulled in many directions with varied responsibilities, so trite statements about making time are unhelpful. We could call in a time management consultant, but who has time to do that?
The answer to the time problem is exactly the lack of time. It is the urgency of the current moment. When something becomes pressing, urgent, we automatically reprioritize what we are doing. In life threatening moments we stop worrying about the laundry, making dinner, browsing Twitter or Snap Chat, or Facebook.
What we may be failing to recognize is that this is a life-threatening moment. Each moment is life threatening for those who fail to repent, to turn back to God and for those who fail to call them to repentance.
We saw it with Jonah. Jonah didn’t have the time to go and do God’s work, he ran away, he was unpersuaded by God’s urgency and if God had not persuaded him otherwise, the people of Nineveh might have been destroyed in their sin. Yet they were saved due to Jonah’s call, their repentance, and God’s mercy.
As Paul tells the Corinthians, time is running out. We need to take that seriously and understand how dependent others access to eternal life in heaven is on us. Yes, Jesus loves us and confirms us in goodness, the good that can come from us, but we have to get up and proclaim that powerful message: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Yes, we have a time problem. There is a lack of time and the moment is urgent. Now is the time for goodness to flow from our following Jesus.