In time and in eternity

The concept of time is so fascinating. Getting your arms around time is so challenging because we are so immersed in it. Time rules our lives. Most things we do are guided by time. In many cases, not just guided, but restricted by time.

Every now and then I come across interesting nuggets about time. As they pop up, I’ll simply post them here. This is christiannotebook.com, after all, it is a notebook. A place for thoughts.

I’ll probably bring up more questions than answers. Thinking about time is a life-long adventure. Ultimately is there a destination to this adventure with searching about the meaning of time? Perhaps the destination is ultimately in heaven.

Just this week I started praying/reading/meditating from the Lutheran Book of Prayer. The prayer from week 1, Wednesday morning opened with this interesting sentence:

Lord Jesus, You have chosen me out of the world to be Your own in time and in eternity.

Notice how “in time” and “in eternity” are separate items here? United by being chosen by God. We are chosen to be God’s in BOTH time AND eternity. Are those distinct things? Time and Eternity? Or are they the same thing? Perhaps two sides of one coin?

Could I think of time/eternity in this way:
• That we are God’s in time… that’s on Earth.
• And in eternity… that’s in heaven.
This prayer seems to go along those lines.

That makes sense, right? But then does that imply there is no time in heaven? I guess that’s my big question. Does time exist in heaven?

Let me reprint the full prayer here. The text in brackets are my thoughts and notes.

Lord Jesus, You have chosen me out of the world to be Your own in time and in eternity.
[Time and eternity seems to be distinct]

Though I am no longer of the world, You have not yet taken me out of this earthly tent into my eternal home.
[This sentence makes the distinction more clear. Time is the earthly tent. Eternity is in heaven]

I am still in this world surrounded by dangers I cannot begin to number and exposed constantly to temptation. Let me never forget that this world will end with all its evil pleasures and only those who do the will of God will abide forever.
[Can it be implied that since the world ends, that time ends too?]

Increase and preserve in me that faith in You and in Your redeeming work which is the victory that overcomes the world. Give me that fervent love that would not think of choosing the things of this world—its riches, its glories, and its pleasures—and on their account forgetting You and Your salvation. Teach me to despise the world’s mockery, its hatred, and its threats, knowing that even if it should succeed in depriving me of some advantage in this life, it can never rob me of You and Your promise of life forever at Your side.
[This whole section is about preserving me on Earth to remember God.]

While I yet travel through life, preserve me in the faith that claimed me as a child of Your heavenly household, until that time when You would receive me into my heavenly home.
[“Travel through life”… this sounds like my opening thoughts about while I live this life, I am trying to figure out time. And then BOOM “until that time”. It’s like we are living this life on Earth through time. Then that time comes when the time ends, and we are received into our heavenly home.]

Amen.

The Lutheran Book of Prayer has four weeks of prayer. Every day there is a morning prayer and evening prayer. Pretty amazing that right smack in the very first week is this prayer about time and eternity. It’s almost as though they decided that one of the first prayers will be about time and eternity. Like, that is something we should be contemplating from the start.

More thoughts on time to come. I’ll be tagging these posts as “thoughts on time“.

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