Uber, the biggest taxi company in the world, doesn’t own a car; Trivago sells hotel rooms, but doesn’t own a hotel; disruption is everywhere. I reckon the church has been in disruption since the 1960s, with the re-emergence of the Pentecostal tradition in Australia in one part, and the influence of “the Secular City” by Harvey Cox in mainline denominations on another part.
I’m thinking of this as I reflect on the Christmas story.
Mary had a big disruption; so did Joseph, the Magi and, of course, Herod.
Mary really didn’t have much choice with the news delivered by the angel. Joseph had to ponder how he would respond. The Magi, well, they decided to explore and seek to discover what the disruption of a new star meant. Herod decided it was a threat to be dealt with.
All, in the diversity of their capacity to respond to the disruption of God coming amongst us in Jesus, went to the story of God’s dealing with Israel to understand what this disruption meant.
We all have disruptions in life; some just come, unilaterally, some we have some power of negotiation, some we can chose to give power to in our lives.
Yet, it is the story of God’s dealing with us as revealed in Jesus that we are called to use as the lens, the point of view, through which to understand and respond to the disruptions of life.
We are disciples of Christ. Our story and the story of Jesus are, through baptism, now inextricably linked.
So in reflecting on their place in God’s work, Mary could celebrate with courage what she understood God was doing, Joseph could “do the right thing”.
The Magi as inquirers could explore.
Herod, who put himself at the centre, and outside the story, did his own thing.
As we face the disruptions of life, we too are called to place ourselves in the story, the story of God’s faithfulness, and God’s sometime disruptive purposes, and discover what our role is as disciples of Jesus.