29 March 2020

Welcome to the second of these video reflections

I have made several visits to Israel and on one occasion, visiting the “little town” of Bethlehem we found it almost deserted and effectively shut down because of the Palestinian rebellion known as the Interfada. Our coach was stoned by Arab youths. In that year Christmas was cancelled in Bethlehem. It led me to speculate after that visit on what would have happened if the first Christmas had been cancelled. There would not just have been no Christmas story but importantly no Christian story- no message of hope and forgiveness for a lost world; no light in the darkness of humanity and no prospect of redemption.

Much the same could be said for Easter this year. The cancellation of Easter! Churches are closed for public worship. Access to public spaces is limited. Venues are closed. Family gatherings are restricted and for some the only consolation might be an abundance of fluffy bunnies and chocolate eggs.
And yet that first Easter happened. The world changed in those three days. Just as at Christmas God stepped into our world, at Easter, Christ died and rose again for our redemption. More about that in my reflections over the next two or three weeks. But here are two verses of Scripture, one from the New Testament letters and one from Jesus himself that have the common theme of TIME.

Referring to Christmas Paul writes “When the time had fully come God sent forth his son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4.4)
Referring to his coming death Jesus said on more than one occasion “My hour has come”

The Christian world view is not circular as in the world of Eastern religions, but linear. We believe in incarnation not reincarnation. History has a hope, future, purpose and a destiny It has been said that History is HIS STORY. The Bible has two words for time. One is CHRONOS- meaning the passing of the years, days, hours…..From it we get our word Chronology . The other word, for which they is no English equivalent is KAIROS- the nearest word we have is the word “moment”. Chronos refers if you like to the passage of time. Kairos refers to the purpose of time.

Both Christmas and Easter are Kairos moments in our journey from time to eternity. Rooted in historical fact, the Gospel is about real history, real time, real places and a real Saviour. I have not committed intellectual suicide by a being a Christian believer.

As we approach Holy week and Easter, and make the journey to Calvary and the Empty Tomb. may this be a Kairos moment for you and in these most uncertain of times, may you find hope for the future.

God bless you.