The Meddler

bows-bulbs-christmasThere is a God and He meddles. We’ve long suspected it. From those who doubt His existence to those who preach it, we all in our way raise curses and fists and,on better days, thanks and hands to a God who is not only there but here, not just distant but near – distressingly near by times.

The possibility that no one is in control, that no one has a design for our days or destinies, is depressing, but that someone does, and that He controls more than He consults, is frightening.

Look at the Christmas story. Take Joseph. God got his fiancé pregnant. No, God wasn’t selfish, sensual or sexual, but at the end of the day this poor man’s bride and pride are seriously compromised. What of Mary? Hopefully she hadn’t bought a wedding planner or booked a Nazareth birthing suite. What of the mothers of the other boys born in Bethlehem around that time? Their loss was inconsolable.

What about me? I’ve a bit more control (I think) over my petty problems than someone on an Asian beach watching an approaching tsunami, but the incarnation, God with us, means this planet is ultimately under His influence. He is history’s principle director and actor. The divine invades the domestic. The spiritual and physical join. The transcendent and imminent collide.

Though the carol says “How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift was given,” Jesus doesn’t seem to slip peacefully into anyone’s life. He brought “birth pains” to Joseph, Mary, the Magi, and the mothers and does the same to us.

How do we respond to his interventions like Mary did, moving from fear to faith? How do we dare declare “Be it onto me according to thy will”? How are we convinced that the Meddler’s plan is to prosper not punish us – that He loves us?

Surely God knew His “meddling” wouldn’t be appreciated or understood, that He was opening himself up to insult and indictment, that the crescendo of our curses would be “Crucify him!”

Ah, that’s it – His crude crib became a cruel cross. His meddling messed him up more than anyone. And facing cosmic horror, pain, rejection and death, He cried out “Not my will but yours be done.”

Mary didn’t see all that. She simply submitted to a promise – an oath sworn to her ancestors that Israel and all nations would ultimately be saved – an oath sworn by God on the greatest thing possible – Himself – His blood.

Meddle away, Lord. May it be done to me according to your will.