3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 ...he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ...
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
There's much more...but I stop on purpose at this verse and Paul's statement that this is all done by God as a "plan for the fullness of time".
The Greek language had two principal words for "time". One was chronos from which we get our words chronology and chronological. It's the word that refers to the passing of time in a linear way...hours, days, weeks, months, years. The second word for time was kairos - a word that we don't have an equivalent in our English. It means "now time"...momentary, suddenly, come upon us, look, see...it is captured by language that stops us and makes us look at what's happening NOW. A kairos verse is in Galatians 4:44 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
God chose a Kairos moment and made a decision that this was the NOW time for his son to come.
Kairos times are full of meaning, often with significance that is never forgotten - by us personally, and sometimes even in history. They come to us at crucial times where decisions are made and the consequences last forever.
I wrote of Martin Luther yesterday. When Luther felt he could be silent no longer, he knew God was prompting him to act - and he did. On Oct. 31, 1517, Luther posted 95 Theses - Propositions, Debatable statements - that laid out a broad sweeping critique of the Roman church's teachings and practices. Luther stepped into a Kairos moment. Why did he do it? The church had developed a money raising scheme playing off of the fears of people for eternal life by promising to either reduce their time in purgatory, or to escape purgatory altogether by paying a fee - an indulgence - to escape their doubts and guilt. A man of the church came to Luther's Germany to sell indulgences. Johannes Tetzel preached to crowds:
When a coin in the coffer rings,
a soul from purgatory springs.
Luther said, "Enough"..."That's it...No More" and he drew up the 95 statements that argued against the theology and practices of a corrupt church.
The day Luther posted his theses probably seemed inconsequential. It was "All Saints Eve" and posting on the door of the church was tantamount to putting a notice in a newspaper, or bulletin..."who cares?"
But he did it because he cared...he cared about the Gospel...he cared about the truth...he cared about "His purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him..."
Sometimes we diminish our place in God's plans. I'm a pastor in a small rural community. I teach in a small Christian college...can either of these make a difference. Yet, we diminish our God when we diminish what God has called us to.
Luther tells of the times when Satan would come to him...speaking into his mind misgivings, doubts, fears; all of which led to depression, doubts, fears within. Yet Luther kept going back to God's word for his source of truth and consolation. Once Luther talked of Satan approaching him, accusing him of his sins, arrogance, and pride...a litany of sins were being presented to him....and Luther said back to him, "think a little harder, surely you have forgotten some." Satan came up with more, and when he was done, Luther took a pen, and with red ink wrote, "The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses me (us) from all sin."
Our mission in life is not to prop up our ego with "look what I have done". It is to remind ourselves that we are partners with God in the accomplishment of his purposes. All of us are unique and all of us count. It is not in looking for kairos moments, they will come...it is knowing that God calls us in life to walk with him and to know that in his eyes, we matter.