Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. (Mark 13:33 NRSV)

Some years ago, the London Times ran a front-page story about an Englishman named Arthur Arch. He had just celebrated his 95th birthday, which was an accomplishment in and of itself. But the truly newsworthy thing about Mr. Arch was that for 42 years he had been precisely and consistently 20 minutes late for every meeting and appointment he had. According to his own time, he was always prompt. But according to everyone else's time, he was always late!

You see, in 1922 in England they changed all of the clocks by 20 minutes. I don't know why, but I do know that Mr. Arch never accepted the change. In fact, he said: "Nobody is going to take 20 minutes off my life. So, I'll keep my watch at the old standard time. And some day I plan to die 20 minutes late just to prove that I was right!"

Our scripture reading today resounds with the same thought, that we are not to exchange God's time for Caesar's time. We do not know when our time will come or when Jesus will return, but we must be ready. We must keep God's time.


God of all, time comes and goes so easily. May I be on your time. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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