Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Moment in Time

As we mark the end of this year and the beginning of another may we discover God's continued active involvement in our hearts and in this world. The Gospel of Mark describes the beginning of such a "new time" in an inaugural, abbreviated sermon of Jesus in his first chapter (1:15): "The time has come," He said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
Ancient Greek has two words for time, "chronos" and "kairos". "Chronos" refers to chronological or sequential time and "kairos" signifies a "moment in time", a special occasion when chronological time is interrupted when something momentous, special takes place. In certain Orthodox Churches, before the liturgy begins, the deacon proclaims to the minister, "It is time (kairos) for the Lord to act", indicating that the time of the worship is an intersection with God and thus Eternity. The Lutheran theologian, Paul Tillich described "kairos" as the Greek category of history and therefore time that marks significant turning points, "occasions of depth rather than events continuing the normal chronometric measure of time." The coming of Jesus into our world, leadership and communities is such a "kairos" moment. May this new year be a "kairos" event that in the words of Paul Tillich becomes a: "moment at which history has matured to the point of being able to receive the breakthrough of the manifestation of God." Have a blessed and God-filled New Year!