Friday, November 29, 2013

What time is it?

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers. (Romans 13:11)
Someone I deeply love and admire has a very annoying way of waking up in the morning. My wife has a clock radio alarm on her bedside table set to sound off at o'dark thirty. That's alright. But what is annoying is that the clock is intentionally set 10 to 15 minutes too fast. Somehow, she feels, this will allow her to take advantage of hitting the snooze button not just once, but several times before she finally decides to greet the morning. I much prefer living in the prevailing time zone.

What time is it where you are?
Maybe, however, I should allow this time-challenge to remind me that we indeed ultimately live according to God's time and not our own. Sure, we try to measure time, track time, save time, keep time, pass time, etc. Tick tock! Yet, God's time is different.

Chronos is a Greek word from which we get the notion of chronology, the measurable, quantitative idea of time. Kairos, on the other hand, is the Greek word for time that refers not so much to quantity as it does to quality. It is God's time, which is a gift to us at all times. See, you know what time it is!  It's not so much about us, but about God. The thing is, God desires that we cooperate in the Divine vision and mission.

So, whether we set our clocks (our time-quantitative devices) forward or back makes little difference in the great scheme of things. What really matters is that we wake-up! It matters that we come to realize that we live not for ourselves:
We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. (Romans 14:7-9)  
So, this coming Sunday we begin a new year with the season of Advent. During these weeks before Christmas, the Church holds up this time as one in which we are to engage not only in anticipation of Christ's birth, but in an intentional period of preparation. Making room for Jesus in the blur of our sometimes cluttered life calls us to marshal our collective effort. As a community of faith, we do well to challenge ourselves with these words:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dearth by the glory of God the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  (Romans 6:3-4)

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First Sunday of Advent
December 1, 2013

Prayer of the Day
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. 
By your merciful protection save us from the threatening dangers of our sins, 
and enlighten our walk in the way of your salvation, 
for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever.  Amen

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

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