Daily Word of Grace # 187 (December 2, 2020)
My all-time favorite television show is The Office, starring Steve Carrell as Michael Scott the manager of the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the fictitious Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Throughout the series he demonstrates repeatedly how, albeit with good intentions, he is often absolutely clueless. In the episode “Moroccan Christmas” (Season 5, episode 11) there is an intervention for Meredith, an alcoholic employee. This is how Michael Scott defines an intervention: “An intervention? It’s sort of hard to describe but really it’s a coming together, it’s a surprise party for people who have addictions. And you get in their face and you scream at them and you make them feel really badly about themselves, and then they stop.” It’s hilarious, but it is also sobering (pun intended) because of course an intervention is anything but a surprise party, because when you get in people’s faces and scream at them and make them feel bad about themselves (most people already feel bad about themselves) they do not stop their addictive behavior but rather dive even deeper into it. In his incarnation Jesus intervened on behalf of an addicted world. But Jesus never screamed in anyone’s faces. Jesus never tried to make people feel really badly about themselves. Instead, Jesus loved and forgave and healed and spoke words of life, and on Good Friday died to intervene for all of us. The truth is by our own efforts we cannot stop (whatever that addiction is), so God in Christ intervenes on our behalf and at this moment “indeed intercedes for us” (Romans 8:34)—and always will.
Love and Prayers,