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Interim Pastor, Timothy Swanson


     “A Stewardship of Life”

 

The Sixth Commandment commands us “not to steal”. The biblical meaning of the word “steal” contains the human aspect of “kidnapping”. It belongs alongside the commandment “you shall not kill”. Both deal with human life. Life is a gift of God. It is declared in Genesis 2 that God took the soil of the earth and formed”mankind” like a potter on a potter’s wheel. Then God breathed “life” into the nostrils and “mankind” received breathe” or “wind” or “spirit” or “life”. The ending of life biblically, is when breath is returned to God. Hence, on the cross Jesus breathed his last. Every breath is receiving new life. Every breath is a breath of God. At the end, like Jesus, we commend our “spirit” to God and we breath our last.


Life, being God given, is a gift. It is put within a time frame. We measure our life by years and celebrate our birthdays accordingly. This is “chronos” time from which we get the term chronology. It is measured by time and space. In the scheme of things, each person receives an equal amount of time per day. How we use that time is our stewardship of life. We can offer our time to others; we can use our time to serve the community through our work; we can use our time to re-create (reading, walking hobby-ing); we can offer special time with those we love such as spouse and family; we can use our time by stopping to be a neighbor like the Good Samaritan. How we divide our time and how much we do this will also (like our budget of monies) define what we value.

 

Very importantly, however, is seeing time as “kairos” time. This kind of time is a special moment in which an event has broken into our “chronos” time that changes us. The birth of a child is a “kairos” moment that occurs within the context of a particular day and hour. A crisis can be a “kairos” moment that changes our lives. It can threaten to undo us. It can also cause life to be filled with anxiety and stress. This stage or moment of our “life” can be the fertile ground of “sin”. We become uncertain. Fear overcomes our hope and our faith. At the moment of time, our life can be a reaction rather than a pro-active force. Our quest for “survival” measured in “chronos” time becomes our emphasis. On the other hand, a crisis can cause us to come together within the context of this “kairos” moment and unite us to not only “preserve” life but also “honor” life.

 

Jesus Christ is God’s “kairos” moment for us. God comes to us within the context of “chronos” time (“the word became flesh and dwelt among us”). For what purpose: that we may have “Life” in him. Paul reminds us that the life we live is the life we have “in” Christ. This “kairos” moment set within the context of our baptism where the “Spirit” of God joins us to this new life causes us to now live and walk in “newness of life” (Paul).      

 

Chronos time tells us the “where” and the “when” of how we spend our life. Kairos time set within the context of Jesus Christ tells us the “why” and “how” we share our life as Christians. Without Christ, our “chronos” time is closed. It is spent selfishly. Christ opens our lives to the eternal. We become free in Christ to use our time rightfully without being moralistic about it. It is the Holy Spirit which Jesus breathed on his disciples that is given to us in our baptism. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus directs us to love God, one another, and all of creation.

 

Devotion is how we spend our “life”. As Christians, our “chronos” week begins with our worship of God. Sunday is when we celebrate our new life in and through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Our life “in” Christ is not closed but open. Our week of spending our “life” begins and is centered in Christ. Our aim is not “to kill” or “kidnap/steal” but to “preserve” and “enrich” each others life in Christ. The “why” is because life comes from God and the “how” is discerned in Jesus’ exhortation to “love one another as I have loved you”. The “where” and “when” is the arena in which we find ourselves each day. Love God First. Love yourself because Christ loves you. Therefore, love each other and creation as our stewardship of life.


                                                                                    Pastor Tim

 

 

 

  

 

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“If any want to become my disciples, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”               Mark 8:34b-35

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