Mysteries and Why Not’s

Readings: Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26; Judges 13:2-24; John 7:40-52

I have found my servant David; with my holy oil I have anointed him;

my hand shall always remain with him… [Psalm 89:20, NRSV]

I love a good mystery. While most real life crimes are committed by the usual suspects (spouse, sibling, business partner, etc.), it’s almost never true in a well written mystery. On the rare occasion that the butler/husband/heir did do it, the reasons are never as simple as they often are in real life. A good mystery is exactly that: a mystery.

Life outside criminal investigations is rarely simple or obvious. There isn’t a living being that can be fully understood. It’s difficult to predict what any particular person might do when faced with a challenge or put in a dangerous situation. Who can work under pressure? Who will find an unexpected solution to a vexing problem? Who will find the strength and courage to risk life and limb to save others? It’s almost impossible to know in advance.

The same was true when today’s passages were written. Who would have thought that the poetry writing, dancing-before-God-and-people, youngest son and shepherd would be chosen by God to rule? Who would have thought a poor teenager and a carpenter would be the ones to raise God-With-Us? Why a locust eating backwoods preacher as the forerunner? Why a Nazarene born in a stable?

In this holy world where mystery abounds, God only knows who will be chosen next. Why not you? Why not me?

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