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.