Making Kairos

We had a guest preacher on Sunday who spoke about time. There are two kinds of time talked about in the Bible, he said. Chronos time, which is calendar time—the gradual ticking away of the minutes—and kairostime, which is God’s time.
He referred to kairostime as a special occasion–the arrival of God’s promised fulfillment.
A couple weeks ago we welcomed another guest. She spoke about the Kingdom of God being here—right now…among us. So, I started thinking about these two sermons, how they go together—how the arrival of the Kingdom of God is a promise fulfilled and if it’s already here—among us—then…kairos time must be available to us…right now.
The preacher this past Sunday agreed and he wondered: How do we make chronos time in to kairos time?
The scripture reading was from Matthew 25: Jesus said, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
The preacher tells us that we are able to enter kairos time in our treatment of the least of these. I think about this as I give to the needy. I ponder it as I go through the boys’ fall clothes, weeding out donations for the clothes pantry. I try to see Jesus in the hands of the man on the side of the road when I hand him a few dollars. I feel it. I do. In those moments of giving, I feel the Kingdom of God.
It feels good.
But I think there is more.
There is this aching need to give in other ways…to give to those impoverished in spirit. To give beauty and let it be rest, to give words and them be peace restored, to give love and let it be a shelter.
The Kingdom of God is here. Kairos time is at our fingertips. All it takes is noticing…All it takes is being in each moment.
Madeleine L’Engle, in her lovely reflection on faith and art, Walking on Water, says that being time is never wasted time. When we are being, not only are we collaborating with chronological time, but we are touching on kairos, and are freed from the normal restrictions of time. In moments of mystical illumination we may experience, in a few chronological seconds, years of transfigured love.
She tells the story of a small village that had an old clockmaker. When he died, there was no one to repair the peoples’ watches, so they abandoned their time-pieces. When the town was visited by a famous clock-maker much later, the people clamored for their old watches to be repaired. After examining the time-pieces for many hours, the wizened clock-maker told the people he could only repair the watches that had been kept wound. These, he said, were the only pieces able to remember how to keep time.
L’Engle concludes, so we must daily keep things wound: that is, we must pray when prayer seems dry as dust; we must write when we are physically tired, when our hearts are heavy, when our bodies are in pain…at least we can keep it wound, so that it will not forget.
When I lift each moment to God…I enter into His time. It is a gift from the Star-namer. It is a promise fulfilled.
Linking up with  Michelle today:
And Jen and the sisters:


  1. says

    What an awesome post! “When I lift each moment to God…I enter into His time. It is a gift from the Star-namer. It is a promise fulfilled.” I love being on His time!

  2. says


    I wrote an article on this for the High Calling:

    In researching for it, i was blown away at the concept. There are those moments when Kairos and Chronos intersect — and we just know that “God is in this place” or “God did a miracle” or there was such something different about the moment.

    So, now, I’m watching for that rope of eternity to join with my string of humanity. Loved your post

  3. says

    Ah, the Star-Namer.

    Love that picture of your dog! One of mine just jumped up on my chair so she can sit between me and the chairback. Her soft blackness, a touch of kairos.

  4. says

    Such an interesting concept of entering God’s time as we worship, give and serve Him. I like to think of this placing us into God’s eternity where time stand still. In this mode, we cease to grow old. The more we enter into God’s time in prayer, reading our Bible, worship, giving, we are not in “our” time but in “God’s time” and we stay young. Now isn’t that amazing.

    One of our Bible school teachers once asked us to visualize God sitting at the hub of a large wheel. This was God in eternity. From his vantage point he could see in every direction 360 degrees – past, present and future. This was interesting to me then and also now. Oh yes, thank you for your comments to my post on Waiting —

  5. says

    This is rich, Laura. And it reminds me where it says in the Bible — “Do not weary in doing good.” Perhaps this is another way of saying…do not forget to wind…

  6. says

    I just finished rereading her book Laura. There is so much depth, so much I still struggle to understand. I think this is one of those things. You’ve made it more understandable for me. I think we take a bit of eternity and weave it into our moments here when we do kingdom work. It is a breathtaking thought.

  7. says

    I liked the retelling of the preaching – and I really, really hearted the adding of Madeleine L’Engle. It was a beautiful weaving of what you heard – and what you read – and I hearted that you shared it. “Whenever you do it to the least of these…” I heart that too. I kind of hearted it all 🙂 thank you. God bless and keep you Laura.

  8. says

    I love the idea of BE-ing. I need to make more “to-be” lists, and fewer “to-do” lists, for starters. Maybe that’s a way to Kairos, too?

    Cool God-Thing … I was just Googling this morning about Kairos and Chronos. And now, you have captured it so beautifully here.

  9. says

    Oh, I do LOVE me some Madeleine! This is lovely -and one of my favorite rumination topics – chronos/kairos. Thank you for the reminder – and the encouragement.

    I’ve just begun reading Ian Cron’s book “Chasing Francis: a Pilgrim’s Tale” and it is just….just amazing. Read it aloud to my husband as we drove the 2 hours south to stay with our daughter and then head another half hour east tomorrow to get my mom and bring her back to our house for the holiday weekend. What a great traveling book to read. Even though there has been NO mention of kairos thus far, something about it resonates with your lovely words here tonight. Thank you for them!

    And YES, I am coming to Texas. I can hardly believe it and can hardly breathe when I think about it. I am thrilled, excited and absolutely terror-stricken. But really looking forward to meeting you and so many others I’ve met these last few months of cyber-browsing/reading/commenting. It feels like pure, unadulterated gift, to tell you the truth. But gift with a scary, unknown quality to it. :>) Those are the best kind, right???

  10. says

    Wow, I loved this and needed it today. I just spent hours making over a dozen meals for my food-allergic son for this weekend, while we’ll be traveling… and I’m wiped out with a cold, and still have so much to do. Yet, as a mother, I’m reminded “the least of these” is even my own child. Who else, sometimes, will do what only a mother can. Being a mother is often being in kairos time, in a million daily ways.

    Maybe I’m feeling a bit mushy today already. But this post brought tears to my eyes. I’d love to ponder these thoughts of chronos/kairos time a lot more. And I can’t wait to read that book you mention. Thank you for this beautiful post.

  11. says

    That is possibly my favorite L’Engle book, but it’s been some time since I read it, and I didn’t recall that story. (Of course, it might just be my favorite because my copy came from a Christian bookstore on a ship that docked in Bangkok when we lived there. The ship travels the world as a mobile Christian bookseller for places without one. It’s a pity I don’t recall the ministry name.)

    Anyway, enough rambling. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of keeping my clock/disciplines wound whether I feel like it or not. Plus, that’s a great photo. I love puppy feet!

  12. says

    Yes, in relationship, is where the mystery takes place. And i suppose that relationship is a form of giving…right? As well as a form of receiving that which is given.

    just chewing on it a bit.

  13. says

    I have never heard that before even though my dad participated in a ministry named Kairos. That is such a cool thought. Really sharpens that verse in Ephesians about redeeming your time. Thanks for sharing!

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