1st Sunday Advent – Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
A nod to all fans of Chicago… as well as Morris Day and the Time… What time IS it? Two words from our history are: chronos, and kairos. The first deals with clock-time. The second deals with significant time, key moments, timeless events, and the fullness of time.
The Doomsday Clock was at 9 minutes to midnight in 1998; 7 minutes to midnight in 2002; 6 in 2010; 5 in 2012; and 2 ½ minutes to midnight in 2017. What time is it? (https://thebulletin.org/timeline)
And, what does it matter?
Here’s scriptural time for Advent:
Mark 13:33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.
Mark 1:14f Now after John was arrested, 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.”
Jeremiah 2:27 …[fools] say to a tree, “You are my father,” and to a stone, “You gave me birth.” For they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces [the very picture of idolatry]. But in the time of their trouble they say, “Come and save us!” But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them come, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.
It seems to me that today is the time of fulfillment as in the days of John’s arrest. Jesus proclaimed the presence of this day as the kairos time of repentance… from our idols.
So, at this time in the northern hemisphere, the days are still growing darker. Night rules. And most of us are terrified of night. Why else would we deny it by decorating our homes and trees and yards? It’s fun. And it’s a serious statement of holding of all we are scared of.
Instead of quiet, don’t we race around shopping, getting presents, worrying about offending someone, not getting enough, distracting ourselves from the terrors of night.
The good and bad news is that Jesus was born at night, helpless and frail.
What if that’s the very place we are to meet him? What does Advent seem like? What time is it anyway? Does anybody really care?