The ancient Greeks had two understandings of time. One was called Chronos referring to chronological time, and the other is known as Kairos time. Kairos refers to an opportune time, a time or season requiring action. It seems we are living in a Kairos moment in our country, in our world, and in our calling as persons of faith. We are being called upon to speak with greater strength against evil and to stand alongside and for those who are oppressed.
In Chicago, there have been countless demonstrations against the violence towards the Black community. It is not enough for the Black community to do this alone. We who are white must raise our voices too, repenting of our racism and seeking to bring needed change. So grateful for the faith groups who recently joined together in a prayer vigil downtown to stand up against those who abuse their power. They raise their voices to affirm that #blacklivesmatter. In Micah 6:8 it says, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Let us affirm it in our words and in our actions this truth and the truth that #blacklivesmatter.
In this country, politicians are fighting to keep our borders closed to Syrian refugees who have been traumatized and suffered more than we can possibly understand, because the politicians believe them to be a threat. The suffering the refugees have known has been immense. The news photos of their travels is tragic and heartbreaking in and of themselves, and yet the pictures allude to a more heartbreaking story. To add insult to injury, gross assumptions and generalizations are made in which politicians are expounding on anti-Muslim sentiment. Let us not repeat the mistakes of history by demonizing a whole people group.
353 mass shootings have occurred this year in our country. How can it be true that it is almost one a day? When will enough be enough? When will we change our policy so that no more innocent lives will be lost in senseless violence?
Oppression and discrimination toward the LGBTQ community is senseless and disturbing. What is hard to fathom is when religious persons advocate for acts of violence and bigotry. The Christian community’s reputation has sunk to a new recent low for their voice of judgment. Jesus was so clear in our loving one another, and our loving our neighbors. When will we reflect the Lord we love and serve? #LGBTQLivesMatter
It seems we are living in a Kairos moment, in our country, in our world, and in our calling as persons of faith. We are being called upon to pray and to faithfully act. We are being called upon to speak with greater strength against evil and to stand alongside and for those who are oppressed. It is for such a time as this.
To quote Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), who was a prominent Protestant pastor who lived during WWII. He spoke and acted during the Kairos moment of his time against the evil of Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
We are living in a Kairos moment. As a people of faith, how then shall we live?