The (un)Usual Suspects

Readings: Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26; 2 Samuel 6:12-19; Hebrews 1:5-14

I have found my servant David;

With my holy oil I have anointed him;

My arm also shall strengthen him.

Psalm 89:20-21

I love a good mystery. Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.D. James, Elizabeth George, and Martha Grimes have written me into their worlds, and I’ve spent many hours with Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, Holmes and Watson, Dalgliesh, Lynley, Jury and Plant. While it seems most real life crimes are committed by the usual suspects (spouse, sibling, business partner, etc.), it’s almost never the obvious suspect 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?

O Lord, guide my feet on this road to Bethlehem. Amen.

2 thoughts on “The (un)Usual Suspects”

  1. “There isn’t a living being that can be fully understood”–I used to ask the managers in my class if they felt misunderstood—always got a lot of yeses. Seems their “people” or bosses or spouses misunderstood them on a fairly regular basis. To which I would respond “Well, of course, you’re misunderstood. One of the greatest understandings you can get is that you’ll never be fully understood–I mean YOU don’t even understand you much of the time. Right?” Not that we shouldn’t make some effort to be understood–just don’t beat up on yourself if that effort doesn’t pan out all the time.
    But you lead us to the true understanding today that we are understood by God and that God can use the most misunderstood of us for some meaningful purpose–was their anyone less understood than Jesus?

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