Just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, clocks in countries using Greenwich Mean Time were adjusted as one second was added to 2016.
This was done to compensate for a slight slowdown in the Earth’s rotation caused by a small wobble in the Earth’s rotation.
The National Physical Laboratory, which is responsible for the UK’s national time scale, uses an atomic clock to provide a stable and continuous timescale. This is the 27th time a leap second has been added.
We live in an amazing universe that is wonderfully stable and predictable. It’s hard to believe it all came into existence by chance. The book of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, begins with a majestic account of God creating the heavens and the earth in six days, or rotations of the earth on its axis.
On the fourth day God said: “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.”
Recognising there is a Creator provides stability and hope for our lives as a New Year begins. Many years ago a young man we knew died in road accident. Just after Christmas he was on his way to work when his car hit ice and he lost control. The car hit a tree and David was very seriously injured. After some days in intensive care he died.
His wife, Brenda, was a Christian. In her deep sadness she found strength in God and hope as she faced the future. This hope was expressed in the words of one of the hymns we sang at David’s funeral. They speak to us all as we enter this New Year.
“I do not know what lies ahead, the way I cannot see, but One stands near to be my guide, He’ll show the way to me. I do not know how many days of life are mine to spend, but One who knows and cares for me will keep me to the end. I do not know the course ahead, what joys and griefs are there. But One stands near who fully knows, I’ll trust his loving care. I know who holds the future and He’ll guide me with his hand, with God things don’t just happen, everything by Him is planned. So as I face tomorrow, with its problems large and small, I’ll trust the God of miracles, give to Him my all.”