Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What Time is it?

As a pastor, sometimes I look up at the clock at the back of the church and think, "uh oh". I realize that my sermon has gone longer than anticipated and if I don't wrap up soon we are not going to get done, "n time" and people are going to get a little antsy.

I guess the next thing I often think is who made up that rule? Why are we so tied to the clock? The sermon must be between 18-25 minutes and we must be done in one hour or whatever the time frame is.

I would never look at the clock in the fourth quarter of an Eagles game and say, "uh oh", it better be over soon.

I would never look at the clock while spending time with my family and say, we are running late.

Is it just me?

Do we sometimes try to put a time limit on our worship time, so we can get to other things?


Eric said...

I love your 13 hour clock! I agree about the frustration with the focus on time. I often go the other way. Last week, our service ended seven minutes early--people found that as distressing as when we go long. On the one hand I know people try to make plans. On the other, we are worshiping an eternal God, maker of heaven and earth--what is time?

klh said...

Our lives are so incredibly scheduled. It is in the air we breathe. Consider that in the Hebrew (biblical, not modern) language, time is not noted in any of the verbs. I have had such a hard time grasping that as a life long English speaker, in which all verbs give some indication of past, present, or future (the service ended, the service ends, the service will end...). Rather, in classical Hebrew, verbs register completed vs uncompleted action. This is not to say that the Hebrew people were schedule-less - a quick glance through their laws regarding festivals would certainly suggest otherwise, at least to some degree. But their language raises an interesting thought to me on this matter - what if instead of thinking of Sunday morning worship within the confines of time (we worshipped, we are worshipping, we will worship), we thought in terms of whether or not our Sunday morning worship was a completed or uncompleted action?

Econowife said...

Would it be appropriate to say "AMEN"?

I find it strange that one hour is our allotted time for worship. Other cultures and religions have services that last HOURS. And what's with the 60-minute rule anyway? I mean, if we had divided up the day differently, and an "hour" was 100 minutes, would that be our ideal worship length?