The gospel is disruptive. It’s good news but when we submit it sends us off in a completely different direction. As Peter said at Pentecost, ‘Repent!’ Turn around, follow God’s way.
At the first Christmas almost everyone got it. When the angels told the forgotten, outcast shepherds the good news about Jesus they ran into the city to see for themselves. The Gentile astrologers got it too, leaving home to find a King. When he turned out to be a child born in poverty they never doubted. Even King Herod got it! Okay, his reaction was selfish and paranoid but he did his homework and knew something was about to happen that could change his world.
The young people embraced it – Mary and Joseph were willing to take centre stage and carry the responsibility of nurturing the carrier of the good news. Anna and Simeon saw it too and rejoiced. It seems the only person who didn’t was the religious leader! Zechariah doubted in his heart and was struck dumb for nine months which is pretty disastrous for a preacher! Even he got it eventually and embraced God’s plan.
So what about us? Well, God still has a plan and the victory Jesus won through his death and resurrection has changed history as Herod dreaded. The plan is on track and he wants us to join in too. It started in a garden and will end with a city and that’s where we are now. Our city is London and our home is Haringey, So, what is the plan looking like now?
Well across the world a plan is emerging, and what is amazing is that it has spontaneously happened. Christians around the globe have been stirred by their God and have discovered that he has birthed a movement that no organisation or institution could have orchestrated. What does it look like?
The Gospel – Jesus is still good news and we still need to be talking about him whenever we can.
Unity – Jesus wants his Church to be united in the same way that he and the Father are One. A tall order but a fragmenting world needs a united Church more than ever to show the way.
A city focus – over half the world’s population live in cities and that percentage grows every day. God calls us to be transformational good news in our city. We have to get it right here.
Trust young people – God did at the first Christmas. He put the whole plan in the hands of a teenage girl and her young bridegroom. In the fast moving, technologically accelerated city the Church needs them.
Joining in with God’s plan disrupted the lives of everyone involved in the first Christmas. Will we follow God’s worldwide plan in our time? Don’t be slow to get it like Zechariah but may your prayer this Christmas be to let God have his way among us with his Disruptive Gospel.
P.S. If you need a present idea try ‘A Disruptive Gospel’ by Mac Pier, published by Baker Books.
Co-ordinator, Pray Haringey