Monday, November 28, 2016

Advent = Coming? Yeah, nah.

Heaven meets earth. Three cricket tests being played around the world simultaneously. Advent celebrates heaven meeting earth as Jesus comes to dwell among us and comes again and again to live in his church through the Spirit and will come again as Lord and Judge in the Second Coming.

Yes, Advent = coming, in multivalent ways.

Nah, Advent should not be thought of in terms of "coming". A soft and gentle word which fails to do justice to what happens when Jesus enters our sphere.

Here is an arguably better word for understanding Advent: disruption.

I understand that "disruption" is a bit of vogue word these days, e.g. in commerce, if one wants to make money, one must "disrupt" the market with a new product. Trump and Brexit are disruptions to the "usual way of doing business."

Yesterday, preaching on the Advent 1 lectionary readings (Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44), I was drawn to the word "disruption." Jesus did not just come into the world, he disrupted it. The suddenness of the Second Coming will be a disruption.

Perhaps one question for the church to ponder this Advent is whether the Christ who comes and comes again in the church means the church is itself a disruption in the world?

Some would say we are blandly quiescent, passive without any aggression ...


Father Ron said...

Father Bosco Peters - at his celebratory quarter-centenary of his priesthood at the ADVENT ! preachment at Mass at St. Michael's yesterday - had an even more effective word for the change that comes through our positive Advent Thinking. It was not disruption, but, rather, 'Rupture' (as opposed to the fundamentalist expectation of 'Rapture'.

This is more about Jesus 'breaking into' our world' than the expectation of 'The Rapture' for the Goody-Goodies! Christ-centred rather than about Us.

Have a fruitful Advent Season, Peter, in your new home near the Airport.

Father Ron said...

Dear Peter, fresh from the 'Thinking Anglicans' website in the U.K., this wonderful item, that could well form the basis of parish Advent Studies: