The beginning of Advent often brings with it two conflicting sets of emotions. I feel a little hurried and a little stressed – there’s a lot to do in December. But I also feel a touch of wonder, a feeling of anticipation and a sense that time is not what I think it is.
December is a time when our routines change. There are fewer hours of daylight, which may mean that there is more time spent at home with friends and family. Vacations are often taken around Christmas, and special worship services remind us that this is a holy time of year.
We can think of time in two ways. In fact, the Greeks have two words for our one word, ‘time.’ Chronos is the word they used for calendar and clock time. Minutes, seconds, hours, years and days are Chronos time. Kairos is the other word for time. Kairos time is that opportune time, the season for something, a holy time. Kairos is when the time is right for something to happen.
I’ve been thinking about time because time is one of the gifts God has given each one of us. We can choose to use time, waste time, spend time, share time, or even enjoy time. I wonder, how are we good stewards of the time given to us?
William C. Martin in his book, “The Art of Pastoring,” has an observation about time. He writes, “One of the first things I look at when I begin spiritual direction with someone is his or her daily planner. It reveals volumes about that person’s spiritual condition, values, fears, and ambitions. It tells me who their bosses are, who their lover is, and how much value they place on their soul.”
Approaching Christmas is a good time to assess how we choose to allocate our time. Mary and Martha entertained Jesus in their home – do you remember the story? Martha was so busy with the serving and the hosting that she wasn’t able to sit and listen to Jesus. Martha was caught up in her “to do” list. Mary set aside her list in order to be with Jesus.
How would you like to use your Kairos time this Advent season? What is a priority for you?
If you would like to sit with Jesus during Advent, the church offers a variety of devotionals, daily thoughts and prayers, available on the back table in the sanctuary. I invite you to join me and take a few moments each day to learn and pray.
My prayer is that this Advent season may be blessed with many moments of Kairos time, as the author of Ecclesiastes writes (Ecc 3:1-8 selected verses),
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; … a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; … a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”