At this time of year Isaiah 40 will be sung as part of Handel's Messiah. Part of that chapter reads, "A voice says, 'Cry out.' And I said, 'What shall I cry?' All people are like grass, and all human faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass whithers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever" (40:6-8).
Down through the years God's people have found comfort in these words because they stand over against what seems to be the unstoppable passage of time. As human beings we cannot stop the years, months, weeks and days from following one after another. Often we feel helpless in the face of time that never stops for a moment, not even to rest. And along with that, we are confronted with our frailty as human beings, and our inability to stand for very long. Time marches on and eventually sweeps us from the stage of life.
However, God is in a completely different category. He created time and he is the Lord of time. Time serves his purposes and is on his side. When he has done all that he set out to do, he will come in time and make all things new for those who look to him. At this time of the school year as we head toward the Christmas break we need to remember the one who came "when the set time had fully come" (Galatians 4:4), the same one who will come again at the end of the age and "bring salvation to those who are waiting for him" (Hebrews 9:28).