“When king Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him”
The presence of Christ, turning the world upside down
- Psalm 2:1-10 - Why do the nations conspire…?
- 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5 - But the Lord is faithful, he will strengthen you
Christ’s coming disturbs the ways of the world. He comes in humility, denouncing the evil of injustice and oppression that accompanies the ambition for power, wealth and status. Jesus calls for a change of heart and a transformation of life, which will bring liberation from all that dehumanises. This creates disturbance precisely because he rocks the boat of those who seek only their own interests and neglect the common good. But for those who work for peace and unity, Christ’s coming brings the light of hope.
We are invited to commit ourselves to act constructively to make justice a reality, acknowledging where we have strayed from God’s ways of justice and peace. Then the answer to our prayer for Christian unity becomes visible as others recognise in us Christ’s presence in the world. We can bring the light of hope to those living in the darkness of political unrest, social poverty, and structural discrimination. The Good News is that God is faithful, always strengthening and protecting us, inspiring us to work for the good of others, especially the victims of oppression, hatred, violence and pain.
Lord, you led us out of darkness to hope in Jesus.
Unite us in our commitment to establish your reign of love, justice and peace,
bringing light to those living in the darkness of despair and disillusionment.
Shine your light upon us and surround us with the warmth of your love.
Lift us up to you, so that our lives may glorify you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Verse / Poem
In the school Nativity Play
they cast the class bully as Herod.
No acting required.
Jesus, you ask
which role shall I play
in my world, your world, today.
And you will me to seek first
your holy inspiration
that I might be just
- Global: Where have you seen the values of the Church disturbing society’s values for the common good?
- Local: Is your church or group of churches too comfortable in a discomforting world? How could your church or group be disturbed into more meaningful action?
- Personal: When have you been disturbed into doing what was right?
Go and Do
Global: Covid-19 turned the world upside down and provided an opportunity to reimagine how things could be. Find out more about and get involved in the campaign to crack the crises (https://crackthecrises.org) and ensure this opportunity for transformation is not lost.
Local: Consider as churches together what situations of injustice or exclusion exist in your locality, work with others in your community to challenge and change the systems that need turning upside-down.
Personal: Take time today to sit in stillness and discern what injustice most disturbs your conscience, spend time praying, researching and planning how you can take action about it (if you are not already involved in doing so).