One of many people’s favourite passages, including those who would not call themselves Christians, is that famous text from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes: (3:1-11 excerpts) ‘There is a time for everything… a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…. a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time be silent and a time to speak…. God has made everything beautiful in its time.’
It resonates with something that we all instinctively know is true: that time is not just a linear thing, or a convenient way of marking the day – time is also about moments and seasons. The Greek culture of Jesus’ day recognised this, too; they had two different words for time: chronos was literal, linear time, how we mark the day, how long something takes. The second word was kairos, and this means a significant time: a moment or season when things are happening, things change.
It is kairos time that Jesus refers to in our passage for today, declaring to all who would listen: (v15) the (kairos) time has come!’ Why? Because ‘the kingdom of God has come near.’ This is a significant moment, perhaps the moment of all moments, the season of all seasons: God is breaking into the world in a new way. Recognise it, embrace it and change – or to put it in Jesus’ words: ‘repent and believe the good news!’
As we read these dramatic words, perhaps we are reminded of our own kairos time: when the good news of Jesus first became real to us, when we believed and turned our life towards Christ. That time may have been a moment: a powerful talk, a miracle, a sudden revelation that Jesus really was the key to life. Or it may have been a season – and kairos can mean both moment and season – a slowly dawning realisation as to where (and to Whom) your life was heading.
Give thanks today for that kairos time. The kingdom of God came to near to you – and keeps coming. Kairos times can occur throughout our lives. Is now a kairos time for you? What is God up to?
Even if you don’t sense that this is a significant moment in your life, it remains true that our journey with Jesus involves a daily return to his primary call on our lives, a call proclaimed here to all who would listen: today, I believe the good news. Today I turn my life towards Jesus. Today the time has come – thank you, Lord Jesus, that your kingdom is near.