WATCH + READ + ACT + PRAY
Week of April 5
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens...
This week's reading again comes from My Faith, My Life, A Teen's Guide to the Episcopal Church by Jenifer Gamber. In addition, I have written a brief "In a Nutshell" post below.
This Holy Week we are learning about the church's relationship to time. In short, Christians tell time differently.
We tend to live our lives in "chronos" time, or clock time. This is a life driven by alarms, schedules, agendas and productivity. In contrast, our tradition invites us to live into the idea of "kairos" time, which you might think of as "God-time." This is a way of life that seizes the day — one that is never too busy or distracted to recognize God's presence in others and in the present moment.
By the same token, most of the world follows the Roman calendar. It begins on January 1 and ends on December 31. There are months and seasons: January, February, March; winter, spring summer...
Christians, however, have our own calendar, the liturgical calendar. We, too, have seasons: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Each of these seasons comes with its own colors, stories, saints, and songs. The church's liturgical calendar reminds us that while we live in the world, our true citizenship is in the Kingdom of God.
The kingdoms of this world glorify power, domination, strength, and riches; the Kingdom of God calls us to set our hearts instead on service, sacrifice, humility, and compassion. The church's way of telling time reminds us that we are a part of God's kingdom, and it calls us to live into Christ's way of love and compassion. It calls us to tell a different story than the world tells about what really matters in life.
Broadly speaking, the church's calendar tracks with the life and story of Jesus. It's a reminder that whatever we might be going through and whatever news story might have our attention in this moment is never the whole story. We are a part of God's much bigger story, in which love always wins. In this story, death and suffering will not have the last word.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.