Chronos was the personification of time and order.
During December, Chronos, the steady march of quantitative chronological time, is marked in many ways : the count down of shopping days until Christmas, an Advent calendar—counting down the days until December 25, lighting a new candle each Sunday for each week of Advent....
We live Chronos time on a daily basis , a tight piece of string that passes through our hands in knotched appointments, diary dates and tight schedules. At this time of year it may seem that the clock is always running forward and all about ticking and crawling from here to Christmas, : so that we can get ready for things, make plans so we can have everything ready in time ...
so we can buy presents, so we can have a holiday from work, so that we can celebrate the birth of Jesus, and some of us just want to get it over with !!.
Living in Chronos, is a given. Only the most isolated hermits and starry-eyed mystics can get away with functioning on the outer edges of Chronos.
The rest of us live in the heart of this chronological time that is dominated by clocks, diaries and calendars.
But Advent is also a season when we might also become aware of another different way of time called Kairos time.
In ancient Greek thought, Kairos is the supreme moment—the opportune and appointed time for something to occur, a qualitative moment .
In Christian understanding, Kairos is the fullness of time—the right time for God to act.
The incarnation of God in the birth of Jesus represents the ultimate Kairos moment of history.
The Messiah, for whom the people have been waiting for centuries, has finally come. Two thousand odd years ago was finally the right moment for the Word to become flesh and dwell among us.
It seems odd to be waiting for something that happened over 2000 years ago.
and even disconcerting to consider the light as the darkness grows longer each day (at least in the Western hemisphere).
But somehow we are called to live within both kinds of time—all the time.
As we wrap our presents perhaps we can wrap our Chronos time around the more gently flowing time of Kairos and allow ourselves to be in the moments with God that nurture our souls, to reflect on God's love for us and become aware that this love is always there for us in every moment for always.
Kairos overrules this finite world of Chronos, reminds us we are not alone, allows us to feel the human connection with Christ here and now and all those who were here before us.