Carpe Diem and Christmas

 

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Carpe Diem:  Kairos Moments In Our Chronos

An Orthodox Theology of Time – III / V

Everything we do is marked by the steady march of time. Seconds lead to minutes to hours to days to weeks to years to decades to centuries.

The problem for all of us is that the clock is always running the wrong way, and we simply cannot stop its precipitous crawl toward the next tick. We lose moments to the past, out of our reach, never to be regained.

Where did all the years go?

The kids have grown and gone. We’re muddling along in a career, making a living, just existing out of habit more than anything.

Did I miss out on my chance to make a difference?

The Greek language has a couple of words that mean “time.” The first is most familiarchronos . It means the chronology of days, governed by the carefully calculated earths’ sweep around the sun. God himself ordained this measurement of days on the fourth day of Creation, spinning the heavenly lights “for seasons, and for days and years.”

Boy, do I know about time. The wrinkles etched on my face; the wrinkles etched on my heart are the visual reminders of chronos.

But another word for time is also used in the New Testament—kairos . This speaks more to specific, God-ordained times throughout history, sometimes called the “right time” or “appointed season” (Titus 1:3).  Kairos is God’s dimension—one not marked by the past, the present, or the future.

When Jesus came, it was a fulfillment of promises past, a cosmic collision of the sacred and secular. It was an intersection of the holy will of God and the stubborn ways of man.It was a perfect moment.  John the Baptist said in Mark 1:15 that “time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” 

This godly kairos pierced its way into creation at just the right time, slicing through chronos with a cry of a baby in a manger.

The cross was another kairos moment. Romans 5:6 says, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.”

Kairos moments then—and now—allow us to get a glimpse of the “other side.” We peek around the corner at eternity. We actually glimpse how God works.

As the omniscient, omnipresent Deity, God is not bound by the confines of space or time. That’s why He flows into our existence when we least expect Him. When we ask for something right away, it might not always come. Or when we don’t ask at all. But he shows up. It can be frustrating, “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years.”  It can also be surprising “a thousand years as one day.” (2 Pet 3:8).

We should always live our days looking for those moments, those inexplicable times when His will and his way intersect with our daily walks.

And they can happen anytime! A friend calls you out of the blue to give a good word. A child’s innocent joy pierces a long, hard day of struggle. A coworker takes a moment to lend a hand.

God is always surprising us with his perfect, kairos timing.
Am I ready, waiting, and watching for him to move in my life?

Source: Living a Kairos Life in a Chronos World, By DAVID RUPERT MAY 22, 2009 at http://www.thehighcalling.org/articles/essay/living-kairos-life-chronos-world

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Hebrews 3

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day

15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

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To Be Continued

For Part II go to https://orthodoxcityhermit.com/2015/12/18/4441/

For Part IV go to https://orthodoxcityhermit.com/2015/12/18/woundedness-the-sisyphus-myth/

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Christ(mas) Healing of Chronos, Kairos, and Aeon

An Orthodox Theology of Time – II / V

 

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The Persistence of Memory – Salvador Dali

Nature of Time: What is time? What is its relation to God’s mode of being? Time as understood in its relation to the Church as a receptacle of the eternal Kingdom of God.

 

“What is time? Who can explain this easily and briefly? Who can comprehend this even in thought so as to articulate the answer in words?

Yet what do we speak of, in our familiar everyday conversation, more than of time?

We surely know what we mean when we speak of it.

We also know what is meant when we hear someone else taking about it.

What then is time? Provided that no one asks me, I know.

If I want to explain it to an inquirer, I do not know”

 

(Augustine’s Confessions,11.14.17, p. 230)

Some Fathers, including Sts. Basil the Great and Maximus the Confessor, spoke of three modes of being (i.e. time (chronos), age or creaturely eternity (aeon) and the everlasting or uncreated eternity (aidios, aidiotes) and sometimes … proaionios or the pre-eternal which is ateleutetos or without an end)), not just the two of time and eternity.

 

…First, everlastingness or everexistingness (aidiotes)  is the mode of being only of God, who is utterly beyond the distinction between time and creaturely eternity, being and non-being, since He is the pre-eternal (proaionios) God who is “endless” in the sense of being beyond duration. Everlastingness is essentially a negative or apophatic category emphasizing God’s unknowableness.

 

God is indefinable as the ho pro aionon Theos (Slavonic: prevechnyi Bog) which can be translated as ‘the pre-eternal God’ or ‘God before the ages.’ As the Kontakion of Christmas puts it:

 

Today the Virgin gives birth to him who is above all being [ton huperousion], and the earth offers the cave to him whom no one can approach; Angels with Shepherds give glory, while Magi journey with a star, for to us there has been born a little child, God before the ages [ho pro aionon Theos].

 

Second, we have creaturely eternity/age (aion–aionios), which is the creaturely mode of being of the supra-cosmic or spiritual creation of God—angels. [Human beings too. Both Angels and humans are eternal, because although they were created in Time, they do not have an end]. This mode of being is not one that excludes change but it is not bound by the distinctions of our present time’s version of change. The past is not utterly past but it is contained in the present as is the future and the future in the past and the past in the future so that eternity is a sort of perichoretic version of time. This, I would argue, is what Schmemann was getting at when he wrote that points in time can be gathered together and encountered simultaneously:

“In an instant, not only are all such breaths of happiness remembered but they are present and alive—that Holy Saturday in Paris when I was a young man—and many such ‘breaks.’ It seems to me that eternity might be not the stopping of time, but precisely its resurrection and gathering.”

 

Moreover, there is in the Kingdom of God, which is an eternal Kingdom not of this world, an enduring quality of being where one forever praises God from one moment to the next—a sort of sempiternal or eternal duration—without in any way being trapped in growing old or being trapped in the inexperience of youth. In such eternal duration, the goodness of God is always desired and always held in its fullness at the same time as that goodness continually increases our capacity and desire for it although we never possess this goodness in its fullness.

 

 

Time in physical creation, as we now experience it under the weight of sin, is understood as a reality with a strict division between past, present and future where the person in time, who has turned his back on God’s grace in Jesus Christ, is prevented from being present to more than one division at once. Thus when I err under the weight of sin I cannot be present to here and there at once since I am bound to here.

 

… Christ heals our time (chronos), and indeed the time of the invisible creation (aeon), by making it His time of opportunity for our salvation in Him (kairos).

 

Time, as Christ’s time, becomes a means to our perfection in Him rather than the ultimate expression of our rejection of God’s grace. Through Him in His Body the Church we come to partake in the mode of being of the invisible creation, creaturely eternity, but this eternity or time of the invisible creation becomes wedded with our sensible time, remade for an embodied being like man, through participating in the everlasting life of God. Time is, therefore, remade and renewed in the Church as the Kingdom of God and we have a foretaste of this renewal in the liturgy.

[Chronos, Kairos and Eternity, or, Agape. Because Eternity is Hypostatical Agape in God]

 

Source: Excerpts from Gallaher, Brandon ‘s Orthodox Theology of Time at https://www.academia.edu/3561108/Chalice_of_Eternity_An_Orthodox_Theology_of_Time_St_Vladimirs_Theological_Quarterly_57.1_2013_pp.5-35

To Be Continued …

For Part I go to https://orthodoxcityhermit.com/2015/12/18/chalice-of-eternity/

For Part III go to https://orthodoxcityhermit.com/2015/12/18/4497/