Recently, I subscribed to Foreign Policy magazine, and today I received my first issue entitled, A World Disrupted. As I scanned the opening pages, my eyes were drawn to Letter From the Editors: Disruption But Not Despair. It began:
Un bien pour un mal, goes the French phrase–a blessing in disguise, or good that comes cloaked in bad. This year, when morning headlines proclaimed doom and disaster day after day, it began to feel routine to hope, fiercely, for just that: a grace that would emerge from the evil and destruction afflicting the world (3).
As I read, “a grace that would emerge,” a phrase began to form in my thoughts: What we need is a Holy Disruption. As a Christian, this is what I need to pray, and continue to believe, because:
… We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, (Hebrews 6:18b-19, ESV).
Even as I live in this World Disrupted, there is always a promise of refuge in hope, a grace that sustains, but it is not found in the vague hopes of human consciousness, but rather in the solid hope of a benevolent Deity and a personal Redeemer. It is this person that I cry out to for a Holy Disruption.
History records that such disruptions have happened before, but love is required to “bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things” (see 1 Corinthians 13:7, ESV). Love is an active engagement with, and on behalf of, our fellow human beings. Love is a cry to our God to infiltrate this world with His being, to destroy the tide of evil that threatens to overwhelm all of us.
The parting of the Red Sea in order to found a people group called to bring forth one who is a light to the nations (Exodus 14:21; Isaiah 49:6);
A prophet, on Mount Carmel, challenging the false prophets and empty god of a corrupt empire (1 Kings 18:20-39);
God, born as a man, the ultimate act of Holy Disruption, living among us, walking the earth, dying on a cross, and rising from the grave. This message of Jesus Christ, is the supreme act of love toward a World Disrupted;
Small actions taking place daily, as God’s “called out ones,” live in this world, but as ambassadors of love, serving on behalf of a greater kingdom, as we trust in the message of Romans 8:28, believing in a God who is working all things “… together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (ESV).
These are all acts of Holy Disruption, and like our God, Christians are called to be the disrupters. To seek justice on behalf of the poor, to show concern for the immigrant among us, to care for the widow and the orphan, to love those we live among, who may be different than us, but who are so much like us, because we remember at one time, “… such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:11, ESV).
So, we live humbly, as servants within this world, not seeking our own comfort or power, but seeking to display the power of the One we serve. We seek to live like the Apostle Paul, and his compatriots, who set this example:
We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything (2 Corinthians 6:3-10, ESV).
And, even as we disrupt, we long for the ultimate Holy Disruption knowing:
… that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.
Our world looks for one who will emerge from the nations, perhaps riding a figurative white horse (see Revelation 6:1) who will offer us rescue from this trouble we find in our World Disrupted, but the result will be that war, famine, and death will follow him. He will be the Antichrist, the one who speaks to our pride of existence. The one who will offer us the world, and the one who will lead us to cry out Maranatha (Our Lord, Come)! Crying out to the One who has already given us the nations, while we wait for His return.
I challenge you to join with me in prayer, for this World Disrupted, that there will soon be a Holy Disruption, setting all things right once again.