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At Home in Lent - Day 14

So here we are, a third of the way through Lent!

My 'dairy free'endeavours are not going too well! Yesterday it was a choice of cheese, egg or nothing for a lunchtime sandwich, so I had one of each (quarter sized triangles)... They were nice, but today it's back to dairy-free.  For once in my life, it is proving a real challenge, not because I lack the will power but because other factors are sometimes more important. Less legalism, more intention.

Which sort of, with a bit of torsion, connects with today's object and theme...

The object is the wrist watch, and the key point is that it is something we wear, a timepiece (and nowadays perhaps a whole lot more) that is strapped to us and, as well as allowing us to keep track of the time of day, has the potential to control our behaviour (especially if it's a smart watch of some description).

The author compares the wristwatch with the phylacteries worn by devout Jews - small boxes, either tied to forehead or strapped to the upper arm, in which key words from the Torah are held.  A visible reminder of the Law, meant to be a prompt for the wearer, reminding him (and it is a male only thing) of God's Law and the expectations that demands. In Jesus' day, phylacteries were sometimes a flamboyant statement of orthodoxy and power.  I guess the same can be true of watches too.  I've never paid more that £30 for a watch, and genuinely don't understand why I might wish to spend more... to me it is solely a functional object.  Others enjoy beautiful watches, gifts and heirlooms, and why not, it's just not for me!

To link a wristwatch to spirituality is a bit tortuous, but as visible reminders of the previous gift of time, then maybe it's doable.


Loving God, help me not to focus on the outward displays of my orthodoxy and piety, but instead to let your Spirit live deep within me, enabling me to live your law of Love. Amen.


  • This is great! Thanks!

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