Do you find yourself “marking time”? For those in prison, “marking time” means looking at a calendar and fixing their eyes, heart, emotions, desires on that day when they will be free. For those in the military, often, “marking time” means looking at the calendar to the date of separation from the military, often helped along with a large marker and crossing off each day as it passes.
As a Christian, are you “marking time”? Are your eyes on something else? Maybe it’s a place you want to be instead of being here, wherever that might be. Maybe it’s a person you want to be with? Maybe it’s a position of honor you want or expect? And it doesn’t happen, and so you are “marking time” until “it” happens, or waiting to be “free” to do what you want?
In Ephesians 5:16, we read: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (KJV) or “making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (ESV).
What isn’t as clear in the English is that the word for “time” is the Greek word καιρός (kairos), not associated with chronological time, but “opportune time.” On the other hand, there is an aspect of chronological time that is important, which we see in Galatians 4:4–5: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son.” Here Paul uses the chronology aspect of time, χρόνος (chronos): everything had to be set in order chronologically before the sending of God’s Son. In a sense, it was both a chronos event and a kairos event.
The people waiting for that event were not just “marking time” on the calendar. They were living in anticipation of the event, not wasted-time, but preparing-time. Because “the days are evil” calendar watching (“marking time”) is not enough or even rightly focused.
So is our life wasted with “marking time” or is our life focused on where we are and “making the best use of our time”? By marking time do we miss the kairos “opportune time” for God’s work in and through us? Are you more like the prisoners“marking time” until your release? Is your prison sin, despair, anger, jealousy, hurt, arrogance, …? It does not have to be that way.
“In Christ” we have been set free from sin, death, and devil. Because Christ “redeemed” us, we are no longer slaves to sin, but we are also no longer slaves to “marking time.” As we continue our sermon series of “in Christ”, what can we learn about God’s past work, future, work, and present work that helps us “redeem” the time, so that chronos and kairos intersect?