Feast of the Epiphany – Christ the Disruptor!
A belated Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! and, today, a blessed feast of Epiphany to you all! I’m back after a week of visiting family & friends, catching a cold, slugging through it all, and finding grace on this feast day. Aaahhh!
I was unable to post my Christmas homily since it failed to record. And by the time I figured that out, I had lost the thread of it. Yet it returned with new insight for Epiphany.
We celebrate Christ the Disruptor! And we get to recognize two responses to Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, two reactions to his intrusion.
First, Herod! When he heard from the Magi about “the newly born king,” He ‘was disturbed, terrified, upended by an earthquake – and all Jerusalem with him.’ Jerusalem was the seat of power in the Judean region. And Herod embodied that power, that ‘world’ he inhabited which told him there was none greater!
Here’s some of the connections the Greek, tarasso, makes for us: 1) Ahab pouted; 2) the psalmist felt depressed; 3) the psalmist recognized the earthquake as a key image; 4) the psalmist saw the uproar of the nations before God; 5) Isaiah cursed the leaders of the nation who confused the people; and 6) Ezekiel found the image of critters fouling the clear waters.
All these apply to Herod, the chief priests, and scribes. All quaked!
1 Kings 21:4f Ahab went home resentful and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him; for he had said, “I will not give you my ancestral inheritance.” He lay down on his bed, turned away his face, and would not eat. 5 His wife Jezebel came to him and said, “Why are you so depressed that you will not eat?”
Psalm 42:5f Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help 6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Psalm 46:2f Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should quake, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah
Psalm 46:6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
Isaiah 3:12b O my people, your leaders mislead you, and confuse the course of your paths.
Ezekiel 34:18f Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you stir up the rest with your feet? 19 And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet?
Who is this pretender to my throne!?!?!?!?
It is Christ the Disruptor of Sovereignty itself!