11th May 2022

Two words concerning time

“The time promised by God has come at last!…The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”
Mark 1: 15 (NLT)

The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. The difference between them is important to remember; chronos refers to the time on a clock or a sundial, in other words an hour of the day, and you will be aware that the New Testament talks about things like the second watch or the third hour. 

The other kind of time, kairos, refers to a sense of destiny: the hour, the time, the moment of truth. Jesus often spoke of time this way – ‘the time is coming when’ or ‘the hour has come’. This word for time has a special urgency; Jesus realised that he was fulfilling a special purpose here on earth, completing a work that his Father had given him to do. This special commission would have a time scale and you probably remember what Jesus once said to his brothers who were urging him to go to Jerusalem and show people his miracles, in order to prove who he was (John 7:1-5), and he replied, “Now is not the right time (kairos) for me to go… ” (v.6).

Yet the right time would come and did! The events of our salvation are not accidental or random, they were part of a great plan formulated before the universe began: ‘It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.’ (1 Peter 1: 19-20).

Our lives here on planet earth are dominated by chronos. We run our lives by diary and clock and are engaged in a perpetual and losing battle against time, because there’s never enough! Perhaps we should rather seek to be committed to kairos, to understanding and sharing in the greater purpose of God. This is an unhurried thing, reliable and trustworthy. The Psalmist kind of summed it up whenever he wrote, ‘I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.’ (Psalm 40:1) 

Perhaps there is something that we are waiting for from the Lord and he probably wants to give it to us, but not yet. The hour has not come – the kairos has not arrived.

Hang in there. In his time – and only in his time – all will be well!

Help us to wait on you, Father, for your ‘kairos’ time in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Study by Cliff Neill

About the writer:
Cliff Neill is a Minister in the Hemel Hempstead congregation of Grace Communion International, where he is on the leadership team.

Local  congregation:
GCI Hemel Hempstead
Adeyfield Free Church Centre
Maylands Avenue
Hemel Hempstead HP2 4GZ

Meeting time:
Sunday 10:30am
Hemel Hempstead is also on Zoom, please email congregational contact below for the link.

Local congregational contact:
Shirley McLean
Email: hemel@gracecom.church

Word of Life contact: