The Kairos Moment
About two years ago, I had the distinct privilege of officiating the wedding of our oldest daughter, Kayla, to her husband, Garrett. It’s easy for us to look back on that day as one of those never-ever-forget moments in life. It’s also easy to forget the countless daily choices that led to that day. Kayla and Garrett built their relationship hour by hour—talking, laughing, and learning together. Family members listened to, coached, and prayed for them. Together, these seemingly small acts of faithfulness, these little kairos moments, culminated in that landmark day when these two hearts united before God.
The Greek word kairos can refer to an appointed time for a special purpose. These times often refer to big moments in the story of Scripture, as in the time that Saul encounters our resurrected Lord on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). Other kairos moments happen when God’s divine providence intersects the seemingly simple acts of obedience offered by his people. The collection of these divine moments in common everyday life climaxes in God’s masterpiece of grand events that His followers can recognize as life landmarks.
Consider Joseph in the book of Genesis. It’s tempting to look at him at the end of the story, when he is second only to Pharaoh, having saved nations. Yet his faithfulness in the earlier parts of his life set the scene for the great ending. Joseph gained Potiphar’s favor through the faithful execution of his household duties as a slave in a foreign land. Those duties were not glamorous: they were tasks saved for a slave. Still, he attended them with such excellence that he rose to manage all of Potiphar’s house. Despite withstanding temptation and suffering unjustly, he responded with obedience. It all started in the way that he embraced the daily kairos moments, often in the darkest of places, and usually serving those who were outsiders.
Likewise, Queen Esther embodied living in the light, “for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth” (Eph 5:9).
Long before this queen announced decrees for the good of Jews and Persians throughout the empire, she embraced her kairos moments: winning favor through winsome gentleness, seeking good for others through prayer, and planning strategic dinners that God used for divine protection. Her behavior was so persuasive that many of the story’s Persians became Jews.
Finally, faithful ones took the spotlight as they brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus in Luke 5. Before their landmark act of faith that refused to take “no” for an answer, these friends grasped their own kairos moments: they provided for this paralyzed friend the simple and mundane tasks for basic survival. This caregiving mindset led them to the prized opportunity to bring their friend, in what seemed to be his greatest need, to Jesus. These dear friends sought only the healing of his paralyzed body, but the crowd that day witnessed something much more: the glorious display of grace in Christ.
AT DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, OUR MISSION EMBRACES THESE INTERSECTIONS OF THE DIVINE AND THE SEEMINGLY ORDINARY. FAITHFUL CHOICES AND COMMON SERVICE LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR US TO CONTINUE TO TEACH TRUTH AND LOVE WELL.
About the Contributors
Mark M. Yarbrough
Dr. Mark Yarbrough serves as the sixth President of Dallas Theological Seminary and is a professor of Bible Exposition. He has been in a variety of positions during his tenure at DTS: Research Assistant to the President, Executive Director of Information Technology, Associate Dean for External Education, Vice President for Communications, Academic Dean, and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
His love for the classroom draws him to the Bible Exposition department where he serves as Professor. Along with his responsibilities of leading DTS, he serves as an elder of Centerpoint Church in Mesquite and travels extensively leading tours and speaking at conference centers. Mark has recently authored Jonah: Beyond the Tale of a Whale and Tidings of Comfort and Joy. He has been married for thirty years to Jennifer, his high school sweetheart. They have four adult children, one son-in-law, and reside in Sunnyvale, Texas.