“It was the best of times and it was the worst of times,” is the way Charles Dickens began his novel, Tale Of Two Cities.
Paul would have said the same about his times. In our epistle lesson from Romans 13, he says: “The night is almost over, and the day is drawing near.”
The times are dark with judgment…like the night.
The times are bright with promise…like the day.
We would have to say the same about our own times. This entire New Testament age between Christ’s first coming and His final coming is referred to in the Bible as the last days, or the last times.
These times are the best of times and the worst of times.
On the one hand, Jesus and His apostles warn us that we live in dark times, when, as in the fabled land of Narnia, its seems the sun does not shine and it is always winter – and never Christmas – the worst of times – when the love of most grows cold, when people no longer put up with sound doctrine, when people are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
On the other hand, we live in the best of times. There is a spring thaw in the air. The rosy fingers of dawn caress the hills up ahead. The night is almost over. The King is coming and a new day with Him. These are the best of times – each day closer to the new day God has promised, each hour an opportunity to serve the Lord with a glad heart.
Paul wants us to recognize that we live in the best of times and the worst of times. “The night is almost over, and the day is drawing near.”
We live our lives in the light of morning…a new and eternal day.
How shall we then live? Paul tells us: “So let us put away the deeds of darkness and put on the weapons of light.” Let us do this while we still have the light!