Artwork by Jack R.

Romans 13:11-14

by Mike Clingenpeel

Everyone pays attention to time. We take classes to learn to manage time, wear watches to measure time, purchase devices that promise to save time. We are time-driven and clock-conscious.

According to Paul, author of Romans, there is a Christian view of time. The Christian view of time is not about minutes; it is about moments and meaning.

The ancient Greeks had two words for “time”—chronos and kairos. Chronos is clock time, time measured or quantified. Kairos is qualitative time; time as significance or opportunity.

The Bible is filled with kairos time. Luke, for example, does not record what the clock read when Zacchaeus invited Jesus into his home, but does describe the significance of the hours he spent in Jesus’ company. We live inside time, but ordinary events have meaning beyond themselves, meaning that transcends the hour of the day or night they occur.

We need the reminder Paul gave to the Roman Christians—to be alert to the meaning of what is happening all around us. “Salvation,” he writes, “is nearer to us now than when we became believers.”

A Christian view of time also reminds us that the present is more important than the past or future. The present is the only time we have to practice our faith, to begin living as one who is redeemed.

Look for the meaning in your moments. Live as a redeemed person. Then when Christ is present, you will not miss his coming.