The Minister's Letter

 

 

This year is a leap year, so we have 29 days in February.  The Calendar is a strange thing, with different months having different lengths. Other cultures and countries keep very different measures of time.  Jesus, like Jews today, would have known a Solar-Lunar Calendar, as well as the newly introduced Roman one brought in by Julius Caesar. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII modified this into what we know today, the Gregorian Calendar.  This adjustment was to make the months more accurately follow the earth’s orbit around the Sun, keeping the months in line with the seasons.  Making such a change did not go down well at the time.  To allow for a discrepancy of 10 days 4th October 1582 was immediately followed by 15th October.  People believed the Pope had stolen ten days from their lives.

All this is fascinating, but it affects our outlook on life.  We are obsessed with time, we don’t have enough of it, time flies or it drags.  I remember like it was yesterday being at school when double Latin went on and on forever as we waited for the school bell to let us go home.  Now I don’t know where the time goes as the days fly by.  It’s not imagination, for Einstein theorised that time speeds up and slows down in relation to our speed.

The New Testament has different words for time.  In Greek “chronos” means the time of day as the grains of sand fall through the timer. ‘Kairos’ means a moment of opportunity, to be seized and used. We might say ‘there’s no time like today’, and that would be ‘kairos.’

After his baptism ‘Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”’ [Mark 1 : 14-15]  That’s ‘kairos’.  God’s Kingdom comes in fleeting moments which we need to grasp hold of when we can because tomorrow never comes.

We currently face many significant ‘kairos’ moments, the biggest of which is the opportunity we have now to save our planet from climate catastrophe.  There are other moments that will come our way to achieve peace, justice, and prosperity for all.  We have let so many of these moments slip in the past.  They do not come our way again. Allowing the Kingdom of God into our hearts by repentance and accepting Jesus as Lord is something we can only do ‘now’.  What we did yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.  Jesus encourages us to live in the present moment, to seize it, and to find God in it.

With every blessing,

        Nigel