Every year on this day… I am reminded how little power human beings have.
Even as we set the clocks back an hour, I am reminded of how we never actually get any ‘time’ back. We can’t undo the things we’ve done, we can’t add more hours or days to our lives here on earth, and we certainly can’t get any time back to ‘do it all again’. Sure, we say, ‘we gain an hour’ when we do this each year… but the fact of the matter is that we all just agree to shift our routines, our cares, our circumstances one hour back around the dial. It doesn’t really change anything.
The Christian faith has gotten a lot of bad press and has collected a lot of baggage over the concept of sin. So often, Christian folks will say… “you are dead in your sins” or “repent of your sins” and “Jesus saves us from our sins”. The commonsense notion of ‘sin’ is that of acting badly… and Christians have used it to act both judgmental and hypocritical.
But, there is a deeper understanding of sin which paints the picture of our weakness, frailty, disconnectedness, and lack of control. In some sense, our mortality (our inability to move time to even add a second to our lives) is part of what it means to be ‘in the grips of sin’. In the most important sense of it, sin is not our ‘bad actions’ but our broken connection with God and who God wanted us to be from the beginning. In this brokenness, we are powerless over time (and many other things).
Similarly, there has been a lot of baggage around the concept of ‘Good News’, ‘Gospel’, and ‘Salvation’. Many Christians have painted the picture of the Gospel as merely ‘go to heaven on Jesus’ ticket’. But, Good News and Salvation has meaning right here and right now. Jesus often taught people ‘not to worry’, saying even, “And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? (Matthew 6:27)
His point was, of course, that even in this ‘broken’ situation in which we cannot change, redo, or add time… even in this state of being imperfect, disconnected, and out of control… God has still ‘got our back’ and will ‘make lemonade out of lemons’ (to sound really corny)… even as God works to make us not broken but whole and healthy.