Friday, January 2, 2015

Time and Eternity Have Kissed

Christmas is not an event within history, but is rather the invasion of time by eternity.
~ Hans Urs von Balthasar (Light of the World)

There are things in the scientific and supernatural realm that overlap—or perhaps dove-tail—and pique my interest immensely. Two in particular are light and time. We are told that both move at a constant rate in the same direction—I have my doubts about this, however. Perhaps this is because I am seeing light and time from the other side, the ontological side. 

Scientists see time as Chronos—constant, linear, measurable; unable to grasp Kairos time—the time that stands still or races by without being noticed, the time of being, the time of eternity—immeasurable. I have noticed that my friends in the hard sciences like to measure things, to have precise definitions or parameters, to place things and persons into neat boxes. From kingdoms and classes, to preferences and personality types. Yet persons are dynamic, able to deviate from a habit or routine, to say or do the unexpected. 

When it comes to Kairos—and maybe even Chronos—I think time is dynamic rather than constant. I cannot break it down further, perhaps because I would be trying to dissect a mystery, to grapple with the immaterial. In the midst of our chaos, the mystery of Kairos steps quietly at first, then loudly announced, into Chronos. The Eternal God Himself entered time. No, as von Balthasar says, "invades" Chronos. He invades more personally still, letting us know that He has "put Eternity in" our very hearts, and it searches out Eternity Himself.

The very first Christmas was the collision of Chronos and Kairos—the invasion of time by Eternity. It is both a reality and a mystery, a sacred moment changing all of history. Let us be still, in awe of God Himself becoming man, of time being entered by Eternity.

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