The Consecration of Time
History, as recorded in Scripture, tells us about the saving action of God accomplished eternally in Christ Jesus but revealed for us in time. It is salvation history, unfolding according to the set purposes of God. This unfolding of the Divine Plan in history, that is in time, points to the great importance of time to the believer. In the Fullness of Time God revealed Himself completely in His Word, Jesus Christ. For the Christian time, therefore, is a linear unfolding of the Divine Plan and  the story of man's cooperation and lack of cooperation with it. This is true whether it concerns the history of mankind or of a single human life.

It is appointed to man to die once, and after that judgment (Heb 9:27)

By cooperating with God's action in time man achieves his destiny as a child of God. By not cooperating he loses both himself and God. Although he must freely cooperate, ultimately His hope rests with God, who as Lord of time and history foresees and provides for all circumstances so that His will is accomplished.

This is not true for all religions. The Eastern religions, for example, have a cyclical view of life. It is a succession of cycles, most clearly evident in the doctrine of re-incarnation. Man achieves perfection only through a succession of lives, lived more and more perfectly, but containing the danger of a more pitiful existence, as well. His hope rests in a second chance, and a third, and a fourth ... , as many as it takes to achieve Nirvana. Ultimately, his hope rests with himself. 

This difference between a linear and cyclical view of time explains the seriousness of history for the Christian. Each moment of time must be a fulfillment of the will and plan of God. That which is "set apart" for God is said to be consecrated. The Church, therefore, fulfills a duty to the Divine Plan when it consecrates time, setting it apart for the Kingdom. Already in the Old Testament this is shown by the Jewish Sabbath, which celebrated the creative order by setting apart the last day of the week for God. Likewise, in the new era the Christian Sabbath celebrates the redemptive order by setting apart the day of the Resurrection as the Lord's Day . A Jubilee is to be understood in light of both the Jewish and Christian consecration of time.

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