I listen to a podcast called On Being, in which the host, Krista Tippett, interviews people representing varieties of faith and spiritual issues. This week’s episode was with Fr. Richard Rohr, the author of Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, which many of us read a few years ago. He is a Franciscan friar who leads retreats and teaches contemplative practices to deepen spirituality.
One of his comments about our faith journeys caught my attention, particularly in this Holy Week, when we remember Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Fr. Rohr said that our faith journeys start with order, then we go through a period of disorder, and then we reorder our lives. Where we think we have power gets disordered as we become powerless and learn how to be in the world differently. Our faith journey cannot be complete without this disordering, when we face our vulnerability and know that something else, God, is in control.
Broadening this spiritual sense to our American society, we went through a time of order in the 1950s and 60s, and we have been in a time of disorder for several decades. Now we await a reordering of our world, which may be happening in fits and starts these days. Of course, when there is order things are stable; yet the order comes at the cost of some people having to live within a defined role that doesn’t allow their unique beauty to shine. Disorder calls our attention to those people, who in the reordering, gain justice to be recognized for their beauty. The reordering time is a time to makes sense of the disordering.
As I listened to this podcast in this Holy Week, I was reminded about how disordering Jesus’ death was, and how his resurrection was the start to a re-ordering of society. The reordering spanned more than 3 decades, through the Jewish peasant revolt and the Roman retaliation with the destruction of the Temple in the year 70. There was an order to Jerusalem and Rome before Jesus died, and before the Temple fell, and those events disordered Jewish society and began reordering the world, which we remember this Holy Week. God stepped in and changed the status quo, and the journey required the powerlessness, vulnerability of the cross. And we claim that God can do this again. That is the beauty of Easter.
On this Good Friday, may you remember God’s disruptive, disordering power, that calls us into a newer reordering of justice and peace.
Blessings, Pastor Tony
If you’d like to listen to the podcast, here is direct link https://onbeing.org/programs/richard-rohr-living-in-deep-time/