“Redeeming the Time”
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
At the beginning of a New Year, I think it would be good for us to consider the importance of time. Time (chronos time and kairos time) is in fact a continuation of what we talked about last Sunday.
The New Year’s day is just like any other day. The sun sets and rises like any other day. We sleep and wake up like any other day. What then is really new about the New Year? Is time real? Or is it just a perspective?
“What is time?” Augustine is believed to have asked once. He replied, “If no one asks me, I know; if I want to explain it to someone who does ask me, I do not know.” In speaking of time, I do not speak as a physicist for I am not one. Instead, I speak as a “lay” person. With regard to time, there is the “make-believe” time; and there is the “real” time. By make-believe time, I mean the clock time, the mechanical time, because there was no such time at one point in time. In the West, the clock or mechanical time is crucial and indispensable. But there are many cultures to this day where time is not dictated by the clock. By the “real” time, I mean the time in which we live and age. It is the time that takes its toll on everything, on all of us. Irrespective of age, place and social status, we all experience the real time.
The Bible encourages us to redeem the time. What does it mean to “redeem the time”? The Greek word for time here is “kairos” which is translated by some as “the right time, the fullness of time or the opportune time.” Also, we see several translations for redeeming the time: make the most of the time, making good use of the time and buying up your opportunities. To redeem the time means to convert time into value. It means to make a good use of our time to serve one another, to live and love. May the New Year be a year of value, love and service.
Tezenlo Thong, Pastor
Simpson United Methodist Church