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Numbering Our Days

Once again we are at the beginning of a new year. I suppose that we
are more aware of time and especially the passing of time at this season
of the year than at any other. Psalm 90 contains a great piece of
advice as we begin a new year. It is actually a prayer of Moses and
probably the oldest psalm. Moses thought deeply about God who is everlasting
and man whose life is so transitory. He prayed, “So teach us to number
our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Ps. 90:12)

Moses prayed to be taught by God to number his days, because this does
not come naturally to us. We tend to drift through life and to take
life and time for granted. Moses’ prayer is similar to one prayed by
King David in Psalm 39. David cried out, “Lord, let me know my end, and
what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is!”
(Ps. 39:4) Most people want to avoid this question. We don’t like to
think about time passing and the fleeting nature of our lives. But
David prayed that he might have a keen sense of time and the transitory
nature of life.

What is the ultimate purpose to us numbering our days as Moses prayed?
If we ourselves are the ultimate purpose, then our efforts at doing so
are futile for our days will end. “Generations of men fall like leaves
of the forest.” wrote Simonides the ancient Greek poet.

Moses and David prayed to the living God. Their views on time and life
and the use of both were centered on the eternal Lord who controls all
and is controlled by nothing. Contemplating the brievity of life
should not cast us into a state of melancholy. No, such thoughts will not
depress us if we focus on God and measure our lives in the context of
eternity. We are here only briefly, but will be with our Lord eternally.

Moses connected wisdom with the numbering of his days. If we have such
wisdom it will be seen in our priorities. It would be a profitable
exercise for each of us to make a list of our priorities. Doing so could
prove most enlightening. As Christians our first priority in the use
of time should be the honor and glory of Almighty God. How much time do
we spend listening to God in His Word, talking to Him in prayer and
worshiping Him? These are all top priorities for one who numbers his days
and knows that shortly he will be in the eternal presence of God.

It is also true that the wise take stock of how well he is serving the
Lord in the here and now. In the General Confession in Morning Prayer
we admit, “We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own
hearts.” Our priorities have been wrong. We go on to confess, “We
have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have
done those things which we ought not to have done....” How are we using
the time the Lord has given us? The General Confession needs to become
very specific in our individual lives, otherwise, the prayer is merely
words and we will never gain wisdom. As we number our days we need to
go beyond confession and actually stop doing the things we should not
be doing and start doing those things we have neglected to do. Time is
short, let us make the best use of it for God’s glory.

by Rev. F.M. Levi

Parish News
Judy King, missionary to Brazil, was with us on Sunday, November 17,
2002. She spoke during the Sunday School hour about her work translating
the Bible into one of the Indian languages. Judy also told us about
the increase of Reformed Episcopal parishes in Brazil. Her report was
very encouraging.

The annual Feast of St. Andrew was celebrated on November 30, 2002. A
pot-luck dinner in the parish hall was followed by Evening Prayer in
the chapel. An offering for World Relief was received in the service.

Missionary of The Month
Rev. Gerhard & Grace Meyer. Youth/Camp/Pastoral Ministries.
Schwarzenborn, Germany.

Domestic Missions
Pray for Rev. & Mrs. Paul Howden (Beth) and their children, Malachai,
Mark, Timothy, and Charissa. St. Luke’s Reformed Episcopal Church,
Santa Ana, California.

January 6, 2003

Happy Birthday!
Jan. 6 - Elaine Spencer
Jan. 8 - Shirley Drobnak
Jan. 11 - Laura Ann Sutton
Jan. 11 - Henry Leenstra
Jan. 12 - Marie Bowman
Jan. 15 - Linda Zaleski
Jan. 18 - Janet Marie Toomey
Jan. 18 - Caroline Elizabeth Robertson
Jan. 26 - David Sutton
Jan. 27 - Paul Christenson
Jan. 30 - Louis Buescher

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