When you review your Christian life, how often do you examine your relation to time? How do you feel about the seconds, minutes, and hours of each day as well as the days, weeks, months, and years of your earthly life? In the words of John Swinton, have you become friends with time?
One of the aims of the Martin Institute for Christianity & Culture is to pay attention to persons and words that help us pay attention to what God is up to in our lives and in our world. Recently, we gathered a group of deep souls to attend to Jamie Smith’s recent book How to Inhabit Time. Jamie’s book draws our attention to a temporal tone deafness that can arise among Christians. Jamie writes, “We don’t recognize how much we are products of a past, leading to naivete about our present. But we also don’t know how to keep time with a promised future, leading to fixations on the ‘end times’ rather than cultivating a posture of hope….We are blind to our own locatedness, geographically, historically, temporally.”
Even if you have not yet read How to Inhabit Time, you will find this conversation meaningful. After listening, you may want to pick up the book to go deeper. This conversation takes place between James K.A. Smith, Jennifer Abe, John Swinton, Brandon Rickabaugh, Mike Di Fuccia, and Steve Porter.
For this Good Friday, we invite you to step into our meditation series on the Cross of Christ.
Bethany provides a last respite before Jesus and the disciples go on to the wilderness of Jerusalem and the lonely “mountain” of Golgotha that lay at journey’s end. Here they enjoyed food and fellowship, and possibly the disciples were able to forget for a few minutes what Jesus had said they would find in Jerusalem: persecution, suffering, death. Here, too, according to Matthew and John, Jesus is anointed before he enters Jerusalem to the kingly welcome of palms waving and cries of “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Because Passion Week contains one of the church calendar’s two poles (the other is Christmas), it makes sense for us to consider how it begins for Jesus himself—both privately and publicly.
This essay is the 2oth addition to the series titled, Telling Time in Church: Rediscovering the Church’s Liturgical Calendar