It's "Go time!"
Cindy Lauper sings in the video clip above the song, “Time after Time”. That was the first song that popped into my head this week in sermon and blog writing reflection and preparation. Time. For decades I have reflected upon at “times” how it is easy to mistake money as of greater value than time. Money can be a renewable resource. Time is not. Time after time to learn, to grow, to experience and experiment with why some time seems to go faster than other time. It brings me back to the value of the present moment. Today, this moment in time, will never happen again and we will never get it back. It was fifteen years ago that I became acutely aware of the value of time over money. A precious moment, a challenging moment, a moment I wanted to pass as quickly as possible, a sacred moment all of it time.
This week we hear Jesus in Mark 1:14-20 announce the good news of God saying the time is fulfilled, it’s time to repent (turn around) and believe in the good news. Jesus has been baptized, tempted in the wilderness and now John the Baptist has been arrested. It’s now time. Jesus is starting his ministry with a call to repentance and calling disciples to follow him.
Jesus is saying now is the time The Greek word for time in this gospel reading is kairos. Unlike the Greek word chronos which indicates chronological time, kairos is a particular time- an opportune time, a fitting time time, a season, the right time.
Several years ago I spent time with my daughter Sophie watching “ The Next Great Baker” television show starring Buddy Valastro, the cake boss. He used the expression “it’s go time”. He used it when the contestants on the show would start their baking. Here’s a little clip of one such moment.
As we hear Jesus call his disciples to follow I thought of it as it’s own “go time”. This is a time to repent, turn in a different direction. This is a time fulfilled. This is a time to believe. It’s go time. It’s likely Jesus had a relationship already with those he called to follow him. Simon, Andrew, James and John likely knew Jesus or at least were familiar with him. In Luke’s gospel Jesus gets in a boat with Simon and asks him to go out further in the water before he calls him as a disciple. But now- this time, this is kairos time. It is a time to not just be familiar with Jesus but to leave things behind and follow Jesus. It’s “go time”.
The other song that has been going through my head this week is “Now the Feast and Celebration”. There is a strong sense of NOW as part of this kairos time. Leaving behind the life with which they are most familiar, sailing boats, casting nets, living by the sea- it is now time to follow Jesus. Leaving behind the familiar and in this case their family the disciples are moving forward in faith. It’s go time and that is what they do, they go. They follow. And I am thinking they repent- a turning away from what was to what will be with Jesus, a letting go of much of what they know with the promise that Jesus will guide them, lead them, use them to help share the good news, inviting others to “go time”.
As we are a few weeks into 2021 and the season of Epiphany, I have a sense that we are also being invited into a kairos moment, a go time. A time to repent. To turn around and away from that which separates us from God, to hear the good news, to follow Jesus. As we venture together into this new year, let’s go together and listen together.