Loree Reed


        Arrangements. The word has all kinds of connotations. "Who will

make arrangements?" the boss asks just before he leaves the

meeting  and the willing-to-please snap to attention, ready and eager to be

helpful. "Where shall we put the arrangements?" the church secretary asks

before the funeral. And the officiating priest directs her to place the floral

arrangements in the narthex or the back of the church wherever they

will have the maximum cosmetic effect. "It can be arranged," the

gangster in the class-B movie says to his partner in crime. "Anything can be

arranged for a fee," he adds ominously.

        "Arrangement" is a very human term. It is about moving things

about  superficially. It is about setting up an artificial order, about

moving things around to one's own personal liking. And it always has

that taint about it  as with something a bit stale, a bit contrived,

somehow manipulated. For human arrangements are superficial only. They are

performed without the cooperation of that which is being moved. And

thus they affect nothing permanently. For the truth of the matter is that

human arrangements have a way of falling apart rather quickly.

        This is hardly a novel idea. The prophet Isaiah said that man is

like the grass that withers away. All his schemes, all his arrangements,

eventually come to naught.

        But the work of the Lord is something else again. The work of

The Lord arranges nothing superficially. It transforms deeply, from

within, without coercion, without manipulation. And so it endures for all time.

For the work of the Lord is accomplished only by the willing

Cooperation of that which is created or transformed. And so it endures for all

time. It is as if what is created bears thanks to its Creator. And in that

relationship, in that continuum of God's constant giving, of our

receiving and giving back it endures. Such is the nature of love.

        Does that mean that all our efforts, all human endeavor will

Come to naught? Well, yes  if the effort is purely human in origin. But when

We,come to the end of our own arrangements, our own schemes and

plans, the God of heaven and earth can come in and make all things new. "Create

in me a clean heart," King David wrote. And wonder of wonders it came

to pass. And the Lord declared it good.

Session on Arrangements


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