DECEMBER 30th, 2018 PASTOR DON PIEPER
YOUTH SUNDAY Gal 4:4-7/Luke 2:22-33,
“HAVE YOU GOT THE TIME?”
Pastor: When I was growing up a jazz-rock band from my home town of Chicago, who called themselves, Chicago, came out with a hit song entitled, “Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?” The lyrical question was followed by another, “Does anyone really care?”
I can only say, I hope so! Because time.... is precious and mysterious, brief yet eternal. Authors, songwriters, artists, filmmakers – even scientists from Newton to Einstein have reflected on its signifi-cance. Its even a key biblical concept. As wise Solmon wrote: “For every time there is a season...”
In the Greek New Testament, the word, Kairos, is a moment in time pregnant with meaning and significance. It was such a kairos moment in time that Luke refers to when he writes: “Then it was time...to present (the boy Jesus) to the Lord (in the temple).” (Luke 2:22)
So what do we know about this 'time', this kairos moment, scripture speaks of? What if time.... took on flesh and blood? What might he have to say? Well, this morning, we're going to find out! Would you give please a warm welcome to Mr. Kairos....
['Father Time' shuffles in from the sacristy, muttering to himself...]
Father Time: (Whatta ya gonna do? No one gives you the time of day, anyway...)
(looking up and noticing cong.) Oh! Well, well, well - what have we here? Looks like quite the little birthday party going on out here! Reveling in the reason for the season, ah?
Well, that's great. So, uh, does anyone know what time it is? I'm gearing up for my big
retirement party tomorrow and there just seems to be so much to do and so little time. In fact,
that could well summarize the plight of the average American! “So much to do and so little
time” - isn't that what you like to say? Rush, rush, rush! “Where does the time go?” It’s one
of the most frequently asked questions of our time, so to speak.
So, uh, anyone got the time? Because you know, mine is almost up! Yes, siree, it won't be long before my face and my name are nothing more than a memory!
That reminds me, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is “Kai” - Kai – ros; but most
folks know me simply as 'Father Time'. In my time, I've seen countless individuals and nations squander theirs, living lives of distraction and self-indulgence. It’s such a shame, too, because time, the time you have, is so very precious, few realize until it’s running out.
On the other hand, I've also seen timeless moments of kindness and goodness that've sent ripples of compassion and tenderness through the greater community they were a part of
and have even been passed down through the annals of time. I think of time masters like Saint Francis of Assisi, Martin and Katy Luther, Corrie ten Boom, Albert Schweitzer, Oscar Romero
and Mother Theresa, just to name a few. Each have provided such timeless moments – Kodak
moments, if you will, of God's love and grace that have inspired countless others ever since!
Such individuals made timely decisions – decisions that allowed them to make the most of their time – decisions that were a response to God's initiative and immaculate timing. They recognized, that in some shape or form, the time had fully come, that God had everything in order, and that there was now, absolutely no time to lose!
This is what is generally referred to as a kairos moment – that moment of opportunity in which God and man, woman or child, are connected with a common purpose and a common dot on God's infinite timeline. The Kairos moment occurs when we humbly oblige with God's master plan – a master plan centered on the mission of reconciling God's people to Him. The kairos moment is the point in time in which the Holy Spirit blows in our midst, calling us, beckoning us, to come of age – as disciples of this holy Christ child!
As the Apostle Paul wrote to the early church meeting in Galatia: “But when the time
had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, to redeem us, so that we may
receive adoptions as his heirs.” (Galatians 4:4)
The time was ripe for redemption...., as it is, once again, today! Once again the time is ripe for God adopt to us as his very own and, in so doing, place before each one of us the challenge to make the most of our time, reborn as children of God! The time has fully come..., for God to step in and initiate a new and lasting relationship.
(checking the time) You know how timely all of this is, too, don't you? Simeon certainly did! It would seem that Simeon was running out of time. He was no spring chicken any more and he knew it. He was, how do you say, 'advanced in years' and he's spent them waiting and
waiting and waiting for God to answer his prayers for the messiah. What was impresssive about
that was the fact that he hadn't lost hope in spite of the many years he'd been on hold. He'd
come to realize that God's timing was not his timing...
Yet, even so, Luke notes that “when the time had come”, God's time that is, God blessed
his faithful servant with a long-awaited glimpse of the young Christ child. It was Simeon's kairos moment and he seized the moment by praising God in such a way that the child's parents couldn't help but marvel at what was said about him. Simeon's kairos moment is so significant that his praise and blessing are recorded here to for all generations to marvel at as well.
Luke also tells us that a prophet by the name of Anna's was “coming up at that very
hour” to offer thanksgiving to God, and “just happened” to come across the young messiah as
well, prompting her to spontaneously proclaim this young child as Israel's only hope for
redemption. The time had fully come and God's people were seizing the moment to pass along
the good news, witnessing to the source of theirs and our salvation. The time was ripe, to do
what is right – to proclaim the year of the Lord, as it were!
And what about you? Have you got the time? Better yet, will you take the time, as and when God intervenes to make the most of that kairos moment – that opportunity God provides to be a part of the action, a participant and co-worker in the kingdom God is building here in our midst, here in your heart, as you allow him the time and space to do so in your life?
“When the time had fully come God sent forth his son...”, revealing just how reckless, messy, and unconditional the love of God really is, that he would send his one and only son into such unsavory, demeaning surroundings – to a people who were really not giving God and His
covenant the time of day.
When the time had fully come, God sent forth his son..., and placed His infant son..., in
your lap, saying, in effect, “Unto you a child is born, to you a son is given...” - receive this,
my son, then, with loving eagerness, making your home, his home.
Have you got the time...., to make room for God's Son in your home and in your life?
Will you take the time for that kairos moment when God comes knocking at your door?
Truth is, my friends, you haven't got time to lose! The time has fully come! It’s now!
(turns to leave, pauses, and then turns back to say....)
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm not getting any younger....!