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The Holy Disruptor

“Disrupt—definition; to cause something to not be able to continue in the normal way.”

I recently returned from a the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza (an annual conference for youth and family ministers) where our theme was “Disrupt.” Throughout the weekend we examined ways in which God disrupts our lives with God’s grace and also the unpleasant disruptions such as death of a loved one or illness that shake us up and change our lives.

We talked about the unpleasant disruptions in our lives—loss of a spouse, divorce, death of a child, loss of employment, mental illness, violence, family conflict, etc—and how these disruptions can create distance from God, but they also can make us rely on our faith even more. It was mentioned that the “Holy Disrupter” makes us whole and bring life and healing where we thought there was none.

The weekend was introduced by a narrator claiming to be “Water” and through audio visuals and “Water’s” narration we heard about Moses and the impact water had in his story. We learned about how God used water throughout the disruptions of his life—as a baby on the River Nile, to clean him up after he killed the Egyptian, to cool him down after experiencing the burning bush, God’s parting of the Red Sea, and Moses striking the rock and getting water. We were reminded that our lives were also interrupted by water and by God in our baptism. Because we are baptized, we are not able to continue in our normal way.

How has your life been disrupted by God? What might the Holy Disrupter be calling you to do as a response? Sometimes it takes being uncomfortable and being disrupted in order to do something new and not continue in the normal way. Our ministry at HTLC as been disrupted by the renovation to the Ministry Center. But as we move back into our new space, what might God be calling us to do to continue disrupting the status quo and making a difference in the lives of our congregation and wider community of Chapel Hill? Some questions to ponder as we seek to be disrupted together…

Peace amidst the disruptions,

Holly Shipley



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