A fellow pastor recently shared the following:
“Not exactly the proudest time in history to be male: a male Supreme Court nominee with sexual harassment allegations against him who will most likely be elected anyway; a number of male Hollywood execs, directors, actors who have been named as sexual predators; the Nobel Peace prize being given out to a person who have brought healing to women sexually assaulted by males and to another who fought against sex crimes/violence perpetrated by males; a group of male clergy who sexually abused and violated young men and were subsequently protected by other male clergy. As a male, I find this pattern incredibly disturbing. Perhaps we can help each other figure this out?”
I find it disturbing also, even more so as a father of daughters. We’ve pulled back the beautiful facade that conceals ugliness underneath. It’s an ugliness that needs rooting out, not covering.
A disturbing time, indeed. But also a kairos time.
Kairos (καιρός) is an Ancient Greek word meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment. The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos (χρόνος) and kairos. The former refers to chronological or sequential time, while the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action.
In the New Testament, kairos speaks specific, God-ordained times throughout history, sometimes called the "right time" or "appointed season" (Titus 1:3), or the “fullness of time.” (Galatians 4:4). Kairos is God's dimension.
Kairos time means that at exactly the right moment, at the most precise time and place, God’s purpose and plan is unfolded and revealed. It’s the fullness of time that allows you see another day. Kairos time brings hope.
When Jesus came, it was an intersection of the holy will of God and the stubborn ways of people. John the Baptist said in Mark 1:15 that "time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand." 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 actually glimpse how God works. God flows into our existence when least expected, but when most needed.
Yes, it’s a disturbing time when we have to face men who have assumed that power means “I can fulfill the worst of selfish, abusive impulses.” It is also a kairos time when Jesus breaks into our lives to say again that when it comes to wielding power “the greatest must be the servant of all.”
Yes, it is a disturbing time when women are treated as somehow lesser and due less consideration. It is also a kairos time when our Creator reminds that the intent at the beginning was stated clearly. “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Equally in the image of God.
Yes, it is a disturbing time when lies and false excuses get spread and accepted by leadership. It is also a kairos time when Jesus breaks into our lives to say again, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
Yes it is a disturbing when leaders and those in position to shape public behavior set an example of mocking victims and faulting opponents. It is also a kairos time when Jesus breaks into our lives to say again that when it comes to finding fault, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.”
When earthly times are disturbing, look to kairos time. And take hope.
Rev. Bill Schram began his ministry with Westminster in March and is the current Interim Minister. Bill attended McCormick seminary in Chicago and met his wife Jenny there. They have served as co-pastors and in separate positions. He has served churches in urban, near suburb, small town, county seat towns in various positions such as pastor, associate pastor, interim pastor, and hospital chaplain. He and Jenny have two natural and one foster daughter. Delightfully, they now have a granddaughter to enjoy.