Grandfather’s Clock

My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor…

On time – Remembering… the clock on the mantlepiece that chimed every quarter of an hour. Dad wound it up regularly.

An alarm clock got me up on time. Bells atschool rang to get us to lessons on time; during school holidays, out playing with friends, I’d ask a passer-by what the time was so I’d get home for dinner – on time.

In watching its pendulum swing to and fro,
Many hours had he spent as a boy…

Time passes: Friends are celebrating significant birthdays, wedding anniversaries… yesterday our daughter Jo shared the picture above. Grandchildren Zak and Hannah have grown up!

We share good and bad memories; we each have a unique personal story; we get older; our bits wear out, our weight is redistributed; time passes.

My grandfather said that of those he could hire,
Not a servant so faithful he found…

Now is the time. I’ve heard many sermons… – Esther who became queen, ‘for such a time as this’, Jesus praying before his crucifixion: ‘My time has come’, Paul saying, ‘Now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.’  

Sometimes decisive action is required; now is the time.

It rang an alarm In the dead of the night,
An alarm that for years had been dumb.
And we knew that his spirit was pluming its flight,
That his hour of departure had come.

My time is finite. I may always be on time; I can celebrate passing time and take action when ‘now is the time’. Recent funerals have reminded me – my time is finite.

I’m content to recognise with King David: ‘I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.’

But it stopped short, never to go again,
When the old man died.

2 thoughts on “Grandfather’s Clock

    1. Thanks Martin
      I sung it with children at school…. various actions for the chorus…. and the metaphor of the clock through the four verses as his life…or his life companion who observed all that happened to him…


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