The title of this post is a provocative statement from Fr. Richard Rohr's latest daily email, and I completely and unequivocally agree with him.
Kingdom people are history makers. They break through the small kingdoms of this world to an alternative and much larger world, God’s full creation. People who are still living in the false self are history stoppers. They use God and religion to protect their own status and the status quo of the world that sustains them. They are often fearful people, the nice, proper folks of every age who think like everybody else thinks and have no power to break through, or as Jesus’ opening words state, “to change” (Mark 1:15, Matthew 4:17) and move beyond their small agenda. Courage is certainly the foundational virtue. Without it, faith, love, and hope do not happen. It takes immense courage to trust your own experience, and to be willing to pay the price if you are wrong. And you might just be!
Yet why do we piously admire kingdom people like Mary and Joseph, and then not imitate their faith journeys, their courage, their non-reassurance by any religious system? These were two uneducated laypeople who totally trusted their inner experience of God (angels and stars) and who followed these to Bethlehem and beyond. Mary and Joseph walked in courage and blind faith that their own experience was true—with no one to reassure them they were right. Their only safety net was God’s love and mercy, a safety net they must have tried out many times or else they would never have been able to fall into it so gracefully.
Richard Rohr, Adapted from Preparing for Christmas with Richard Rohr, pp. 66-68