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August 06, 2007

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Kevin Walden

Reggie talked this morning about championing people. That person in the Wal-Mart or Target line - the checker - the waitress at lunch. Just being a blessing to others and in so doing BEING the body of Christ in the culture. That church isn't a place, but the people released for blessing. It's a powerful idea and calling.

Father Justin Rose

Sacred Time

I have been thinking about our discussion about sacred time yesterday. For those who might read this without the context of Reggie's class, we were considering whether Sunday was the sacred time for worship and the rest of the week was somehow less sacred. Could the only weekly worship of the Church be on a Tuesday or did it have to be Sunday?

Henriet commented that all time is sacred. It did not sit well with me, but I wanted to let it wander around in the rather ample space between my ears for a while.

The Bible has two words for time, chronos and kairos.

Chronos is an enemy or at least a friend we like to watch carefully. Chronos ticks away our youth and opportunities. Ultimately, chronos leads us to our judgment which, depending upon how we used it on earth will determine how kind it is to us in eternity. We "sanctify" chronos through our own actions or through a rhythm of prayer (especially the Jesus Prayer or regular praying of Psalms).

In those moments, chronos can become kairos, which is more than just "sacred time." Hard to translate, kairos is the right season, a blessed season, God's time, and none of those. At the beginning of the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, the deacon tells the priest, "It is time for the Lord to act." I think that this is an announcement of kairos.

Now kairos is not restricted to Sunday, of course. The Lord can act whenever. I think that it nuances our discussion a little, however, about all time being sacred.

Henriet Schapelhouman

Thanks Justin for your very thoughtful comment. The distinction between kairos and chronos time is very helpful. I think that chronos time is what I was talking about. Do you think that by clarifying the difference, it allows missional ministry to exist alongside Eastern spirituality?

Dan Wilburn

Regarding missionality... As I've commented in our breakouts, I still content that spirituality is ATTRACTIVE -- is this a model? I don't think so. I think this alludes to our need for a strong ecclesiology along with (if not prior to) our missiology. The church at 10:00 a.m. is not the enemy. The quesiton becomes "How is Sunday morning missional?"

Father Justin

Henriet,
I think that we are talking about two different (perhaps interrelated) things. Missional theology is integral to the Christian East. Despite this, Eastern Christian countries of origin have been dominated by either Muslims (for a millenium) or Communists (for several decades) long enough to drum out a sense of evangelism from us. As a result, our expression of Church in America resembles something like "circling the wagons." We are beginning to look outward and change our sense of who "can" belong to our Churches.

I think, though, that you skirted the issue. Why would we need to talk about kairos if all of chronos is sacred?

Henriet Schapelhouman

Hi Dan,
Good thoughts. As we talked about yesterday, I think key to making it appear attractive is to live it out. The warm cabin in the snow that's attractive to people...the Gospel is better than any cabin. But as his people, we better live it attractively. How does that look on Sunday, or any other time of the week?

Henriet Schapelhouman

Hi Justin,
I skirted because I hadn't complete understood. Thanks for the clarification.
If kairos is the sacred time then will any chronos do to invite God to inhabit that and create sacred space? Or, are there special chronos times of the week that becomes kairos?

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