When we returned from our visit to Cairo at the beginning of June, people asked what it was like. “It’s loud, and dirty, and crowded, and amazing” was my reply. It is. Loud, and dirty, and there are people everywhere, and what those people will do is, admittedly, a little unpredictable. And yet, it is amazing. And, already, I have grown to love it and can’t wait to begin our adventure living there, inshallah (Arabic for God willing), very soon.
There are moments when I feel like I catch glimpses of the kingdom of God revealed. They never last long, but there is no question that, in those moments, I am standing on holy ground. I am a pastor. I think theologically. I am a Lutheran pastor. I think sacramentally. And for these reasons, it is no surprise that these moments often happen around water and around tables. In moments that are connected–by those simple means of water, bread, and wine–to baptism and to Eucharist. Those moments happen at the font and at the Table. But they also happen along the lakeshore, and around the dinner table, and when sitting with beloved ones and drinking good wine. These are kairos moments–moments when God’s time is revealed and, if only fleetingly, all is well with the world and I know down to the depths of my bones that it is moments like these that capture God’s promise to God’s beloved people. When, as Isaiah writes in chapter 55, all who thirst will be called to the water, and all who are hungry can buy wine and milk without money and without price.
In that brief visit in Cairo, I experienced these kairos moments. Listening to my Sudanese brothers and sisters sing. Sitting around the table with my brother pastors from South Sudan and Ethiopia. Sharing a meal with my ELCA colleagues. Sitting under the guards umbrella on a Sunday afternoon. Meeting members of the congregation I have been called to serve. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be many kairos moments in Cairo. And so, I call this blog “Cairos.” I hope that I can share some of the stories that reveal to me God’s work in the world. Because I believe that God is at work in this world. God is at work through a whole lot of amazing people. Some known to us and many unknown. Some who we will soon meet and many others that we will only meet when that promise is fully revealed. But for now, I watch for Cairos.