Summary: This is a short devotional talk beginning with the Greek god Kairos, who represents the fleeting nature of opportunity, and using an understanding of Kairos to inform our reading of Ephesians 5:8-20 where Paul presents several things that are urgent for C
In Greek, there are at least a couple of different words that mean “Time.”
- Kronos – This is the word you use when you talk about the clock. It is a sequential word, where we get words like “Chronology” or “Chronological”. It’s a word about Order.
- Kairos – This is the word I want to examine tonight. Kairos is a word for “time”, but it could be translated as “opportunity” or “chance”.
Kairos was a word for Time, but it drew its meaning from a Greek god by the same name. Kairos was the “god of the fleeting moment”
Kairos was envisioned as a god on his tippy toes. He was on the move. He had wings on his feet. In one hand, he carried a razor blade. One of the most noticeable characteristics about him was his hair. He had a large, bushy forelock that hung out in front of his face. But the back side of his head was completely bald.
In the past, there was a well-known bronze statue of Kairos by a Greek sculptor named Lysippos. On this famous statue was an epigram about the meaning of the statue.
The epigram was a series of questions and answers. After inquiring about the author and his origins, it continued:
“And who are you? Time—Kairos—who subdues all things.
Why do you stand on tip-toe? I am ever running.
And why you have a pair of wings on your feet? I fly with the wind.
And why do you hold a razor in your right hand? As a sign to men that I am sharper than any sharp edge.
And why does your hair hang over your face? For him who meets me to take me by the forelock.
And why, in Heaven’s name, is the back of your head bald? Because none whom I have once raced by on my winged feet will now, though he wishes it sore, take hold of me from behind.”
This gave rise to an expression that “Opportunity is bald from behind.” Once it’s past, you can’t get it back!
This is in fact the word that Paul uses in Ephesians 5:16: “Make the most of every (Kairos) opportunity, because the days are evil.”
In the passage around this verse, Paul lays out a series of opportunities that we should be aware of…
I want us to think about these principles in light of Kairos…the idea that opportunities are fleeting, and once they’re gone they are gone.
I’d like to reword parts of these verses again, and to let the urgency of time speak to the principles Paul is laying out.
- Live as Children of light, and find out what pleases the Lord…
…because if you don’t live for God now, you might not get another chance!
-Avoid the shameful and worthless actions of darkness…
…because you don’t have the time to waste on such things!
-Wake up, O Sleeper, and rise from the dead…
…because if Christ isn’t shining on you and through you, how will people know of the opportunities they are also missing?
-Be careful and thoughtful about how you live…
…because you only have one opportunity to live this life!
-Speak to one another with Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual songs, sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord, always give thanks to God for everything…
…because time spent with God and with other Christians is too precious to waste!