Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

from Rev. Dr. Gregory Widener, Huntington

This litany about time in scripture is often used as a text around the New Year when our attention is focused on the passing of time in our lives. I think that we would all agree that the gift of time that God gives us during our lives is very important! If you are over 50 years of age, then it is humbling to realize that the great majority of human beings in history have lived shorter lives than you—thanks to the scourges of war and disease.

I think that we are all aware that there are two words in Greek that are used for time. One word is “chronos” which refers to time is the typical sense of the word, and the other word is “kairos.” which refers to a quality of time. In the New Testament, the word “kairos” is used more frequently to describe spiritual life—and therein lies the rub.

If it pleases God to give us another year of life, how will we spend that gift of time? Do we lives our lives in a “chronos” way, simply existing from day to day with little direction from God and few goals for the Kingdom? Or, are we busy using the gifts, opportunities and resources that God has given us to improve this world and to let others know the saving power of Jesus of Nazareth who is the Christ?

Of course, I hope that all of us will be found in the second group. Jesus told us that he came to give us “abundant life” and I think that means more than just living a life of drudgery and aimless existence. But to live lives of spiritual significance will require effort and sensitivity to the still small voice of God. To be a real Christian means more than just attending church on Sundays and giving God some of our money. Let us get up each morning with the prayers: “God, what do you have for me today? God, how I can touch someone for you? Let us seek in 2016 to live for Christ 24 hours a day, and thereby care nothing for the passing of chronos time.

O God, what do you have for me today? O God, how I can I touch someone for you today?