Greetings, Friends in Christ,
It’s so hard to believe that Lent is just around the corner. Doesn’t it
seem that it was just Christmas? We have not yet celebrated
Christmas with our Rochester family—between weather and
sickness and all other manner of things. Because of that, we still
have our Christmas tree up! At least, it’s still Epiphany as I write
How are you relating to time? In an advertisement by Viking
Cruises, their CEO discusses time. It’s a visually beautiful ad. One
can be easily drawn into his perspective that we just don’t have
enough time. His answer to that? Travel! Of course, on Viking
Is he right, that we don’t have enough time? It may often seem so.
God gives us enough time to do what God wants us to do. It is
only modern and postmodern humanity that is so consumed with
the clock. If you have ever had the opportunity to spend time with
people of other cultures, you quickly realize that our preoccupation
with time is a very western concept. Not to romanticize those of
other cultures, but the Arab culture, for instance, is more focused
on relationships. While living in Bethlehem, whenever we visited
people in remote villages, they had all the time in the world for a
visit. Whenever we would say it was time for us to leave, the
immediate response would be, “Badri,” which means “early” in
Arabic. Sometimes they were just being polite, but more often
than not, they were being sincere.
There are two kinds of time in New Testament Greek. One is
“chronos,” from which we get words like chronological. That is the
linear time with which we most often identify. The other word is
“kairos,” God’s time. It is the right or opportune moment. This kind
of time is qualitative rather than quantitative. It is a moment of
indeterminate time in which a significant event occurs.
You’ve likely experienced “kairos” moments, but didn’t know that
is what they were. Some people I know refer to them as “Godincidents”
rather than coincidences. They leave you responding,
A perfect example of “kairos” time is in the Book of Galatians. “But
when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a
woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were
under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children”
(Galatians 4:4-5). It’s the right time, in the right place, in the right
We cannot escape from our world of “chronos” time, however, we
cannot let it control our lives to be so fully controlled by it. I’m not
suggesting we ignore this time, but don’t let it enslave us.
As the first part of Psalm 34 says:
1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together.