Ramblings for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch pew sheet 1 December 2019

During a mad few years at the end of the 90s (that’s 1990s, don’t be cheeky) and early 2000s, I was an international manager for start-up software companies. I had company apartments in Boston, Munich, Johannesburg and Kuala Lumpur. Customers, or pilot sites, were scattered all around USA and Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia.  I circumnavigated the globe at least once every month, sometimes several times a month. It was very disorienting. Leisa would look at her diary and mine, an atlas and airline timetables, and we’d meet up wherever it was best for her to intercept me on my peregrinations.  In particularly frenetic periods, I’d forget where I was or where I was going to. Once, I went up to a check-in desk at Hong Kong, and boldly announced that I was booked to Hong Kong.  “You’re in Hong Kong”, said the nice Cathay Pacific lady. So I am, I remembered, and told her OK, I must be going to Melbourne then.
A tip which many of you will know for longhaul flight is to set your watch to your destination’s time as soon as you board, or while you’re waiting to board. It helps to get your mind used to the idea of what will be the time when you’re next on terra firma.  It’s probably more useful travelling eastwards, where time is (usually) ahead of your starting point. I say usually, because setting off eastwards across the Pacific can land you in San Francisco 4 hours before you left Brisbane, after a 14 hour flight.
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity posits that the passage of time from one event to another will be different for observers of the same event, if they’re in different places.
Each of these things, my rambling anecdotes and Einstein’s explanation of gravitational time dilation, put me in mind of something which I mentioned in last week’s sermon. concerning the “Now but Not Yet” of God’s restored creation.  On CX100 en route to HKG from LHR, it might be 22:00 in London as you take off, but it’s already 06:00 the next day in Hong Kong, as my newly wound forward watch tells me. No matter what doubts and fears a passenger entertains about what awaits in Hong Kong, it is already break of day there, however dark it is outside while you climb through the skies outside London.  And we observe events from the vantage point of our constrained, temporal life, while the redeemed saints in Glory, your loved ones among them whom you miss so much, already see them on Lamb time.
1 John 3:2  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

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