“Kairos: Living in God’s Appointed Time”
We use the term “time” to mean different things at different times. For instance, sometimes we hear people say, “I had a good time with friends on Christmas.” At other times, we also hear others say, “It was one of the worse times of my life.” Or you may say to someone, “Our worship service is at 10 am. Come and join us.” Furthermore, astrophysicists will tell us that time travels faster in higher altitudes than in lower altitudes. If these are all time or representatives of time, what, then, is time?
The Greeks used two words to explain the different dimensions of time: kairos and chronos. The word often used in the Bible when referring to time is kairos, and the writer of Galatians, who is believed to be Paul, uses kairos in today’s text. Some English Bible translates kairos as “the fullness of time; while others say “the right time.”
Kairos time is illusive and hard to grasp for a modern person. We are much more familiar with chronos time. Chronos time is clock time; it is predictable and quantifiable. It is measured by hours, minutes and seconds and is sequential. “Time is money!” so says a modern consumer driven culture, because time drives us to produce and consume. We are paid by hour or how effectively we use time to get things done, not by how we need to make our time on earth meaningful and contented.
Kairos time is measured not by a mechanical clock, but in terms of quality. It is quality time. It is experienced and unhurried. It is being and participating in time, not running after time while pulling your hair to meet a deadline. Kairos time is learning to “be”. It is being in the moment and enjoying the time. It is sacred time when we experience meaning and value in relationships and living life. Kairos is when we experience the divine and have “aha” moments. Quality (kairos) is what matters, not quantity (chronos).
Tezenlo Thong, Pastor
Simpson United Methodist Church