Blog

Chaos or community: Which way?

Advent commentary on grand jury findings

Ken Sehested. Posted 5 December 2014, commemorating Rosa Parks' historic bus ride.

Chaotic and kairotic are rhyming words that come to mind in these heavy laden days. The latter’s root word, kairos, means “opportune moment,” a pregnant occasion, with life promised but also danger lurking, an opening for truth amid founded fears of catastrophe—as in “apocalypse.”  But in the root word for apocalypse, the emphasis is on “uncovering” or “revealing” what has been hidden. Truth amid the rubble.

These surely are chaotic times, and we cringe at the destructive backlash threatening to rain down on urban and suburban streets. Within a week, police killings of unarmed black men are dismissed by grand juries in a St. Louis suburb and New York City—the latter case, of Eric Garner, by fatal chokehold caught on camera and ruled a homicide by the coroner.

Jon Stewart’s Daily Show opening comments on these cases were as sober as I’ve seen. “If comedy is tragedy plus time,” Stewart said, “I need more f•••king time.” Read more ›