The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Friday, December 25, 2015

Break in, God!

Christmas Day Reflection – 2015

For the last four weeks we have been preparing ourselves for this day: the Feast Day of the Nativity of our Lord.

I have been thinking about the word, time, lately. We have interesting expressions in the English language about time. We say such things as “in the nick of time,” or “just in time,” or “take your time,” and “everything in its time and place.”

In Western culture we are very conscious of time. Punctuality is valued and honored. Winston Churchill said about time, “If you are five minutes early, you wasted five minutes of your time. If you are five minutes late, you wasted five minutes of my time.”

In the first century of the Christian faith, the Greek language used two words to describe time: chronos and kairos. These two words describe two very different ideas about time.

Chronos is about chronological time; the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years that mark our lives. We are thinking of chronos when we plan events in our lives, births, anniversaries, or graduations. This the word used by St. Paul when he talks about the birth of Jesus:

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman,...”(Galatians 4:4).

All of the events of history had aligned themselves for this chronos moment: God coming as an infant born in a manger. God coming into human time and space. We cannot overplay the significance of this birth. God came into human form, born in a baby experiencing all of the human condition. Jesus’ life, ministry and death are God at work on our behalf. 

The truth of the the historical fact of Jesus’ presence on earth cannot be diluted or disregarded. The debate of the historicity of Jesus’ life on earth has endured for over 150 years. I encourage you to review this book by Chicago Tribune journalist, Lee Strobel, for a summary of the facts of Jesus’ coming: The Case for Christ.

The other Greek word for time, kairos, is much more interesting. Kairos is about breaking into chronos time, specifically, it means God has come into our human chronological moment and fulfilled God’s purpose.

While not used to describe the birth of Jesus, kairos is used to describe the ministry of Jesus particularly his death on the cross:

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time” (I Timothy 2:5-6).

Today we are celebrating the breaking in (kairos) of God in the birth of Jesus into history (chronos). God crashed human history. 

God conquered the world with love!!!

God is still breaking into our world today. God is looking for people who are open for an in-breaking of Divine Love.

Let us open ourselves for God!

Ronald Friesen © 2015

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