Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Relativity of Time, not of Spirituality

" Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem." John 4:21 (NIV)

If you're fleeing through space escaping Earth's final death throes, the seventh day week has lost most of its precise chronological defintion, unless, of course, you maintain a 24-hour clock and observe that Earth-bound chronology to hold onto an appearance of normal time sequences. If you push your interstellar ship's engines as close to the speed of light as you can get without violating the laws of physics, would the 24-hour day, or the seventh-day week have the same actual dimensions or implications that they had on Earth? Furthermore, if by some accident, all time keeping devices with the old terrestrial time were destroyed, without the regularity of day and night, how would you know when days or weeks had come and gone? How would you keep the Sabbath holy in a "timeless" reality? Would you still be bound by the letter of the law or would you seek for a spiritual day of rest, a day of commemoration, a day of devotion and communion with your God, and with your fellow human beings on board this trans-temporal craft?

What if humankind, instead of escaping into space to survive the perplexing disasters of Earth's history, present and future, would need to burrow deep into the Earth and be permanently shut out from the light of the sun and it's demarcation of days and weeks? Again, what if all time-keeping devices were damaged and you could no longer keep the actual seventh day because time had also lost its meaning? Would you keep all days holy so as to always be in a state of devotion and commemoration and "spiritual" rest with God and with your fellow human beings, or would you periodically decide that surely the day of rest had come again after an agreed-upon time period consisting of rising and resting cycles below the surface of the Earth?

If you could get into aircraft fast enough and keep on flying forward to the setting sun on Friday night, as the Sabbath approached would you continually be welcoming the day of rest or would you disregard the ever-setting sun and keep the 24-hour period that had commenced in your native time zone, say, Western Europe's time zone?

What happens when humankind settles on Mars with its longer day or the moons of the outer planets, or space stations in orbits beyond the asteroid belt? Would you observe the 24 hour Earth day with artificial time-keeping devices or would you observe the "day" as it is practical and meaningful in your new home? Is the Sabbath bound to this Earth and its 24 hour day? Or is it a spiritual principle outside of both time and space that continues evolving and being enhanced by the realities of time and space itself?

Do you stop believing in or needing Christ and His salvation just because the nature of time and space have changed drastically? Or do you continue adapting as humankind needs to do as humanity gets further and further away from both the physical, but not the spiritual, realities of Paradise Lost and the historical observance of the Sabbath in the Ancient Middle East?

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