Day dreamers look at clouds and imagine what they might be. Psychologists use cards with ink blots to probe the imaginations of their patients. But those who grew up in the Deep South developed their powers of imagination by meditating on kudzu covered structures, trees and power lines. Kudzu is one of the most invasive plants ever introduced in the US and in the hot, humid climate of the South can grow up to a foot per day.
Though kudzu was first introduced into the US at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 as an ornamental cover plant, it did not become prolific until the Dust Bowl. FDR’s administration recommended kudzu to control erosion on slopes and in ditches and distributed 85 million government funded kudzu seedlings. By 1946, it was estimated that 3 million acres of kudzu had been planted. During the depression, however, boll weevil infestations and cotton crop failures caused farmers to abandon their farms, leaving these kudzu plantings unattended. In the sunny South the kudzu thrived, growing virtually unchecked. By 1997, the vine was placed on the “Federal Noxious Weed List”. Today, kudzu is estimated to cover 7.4 million acres of land in the United States. Brought in to fix erosion in the South, the ever-invasive kudzu has taken over the landscapes and imaginations of Southerners.
Often in the midst of a crisis, we call up on God to save us and then, when the crisis passes, we forget our precipitous vows and our need for a saving God. But the God who comes as Savior is not a corporate consultant, paid by the hour to troubleshoot and then move on. He comes as a Lord, King, Ruler and Master. He is invasive. He is “not a tame lion.” He takes over and takes charge of our lives. As Sinclair Ferguson once noted, if He is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all. The angels declared to terrified shepherds, “For unto you is born this day a Savior, Christ, Lord!” Unlike kudzu, however, God’s control is necessary for Him to effect His saving work in our lives.
Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, lay awake, struggling to understand how to respond to the shocking discovery that his pious, godly betrothed wife was found to be pregnant before their wedding night. But, as often happens in scripture, an angel comes to Joseph in a dream to reveal something far more shocking – the incarnation. His struggle to understand how to respond to Mary paled in comparison to the struggle he faced to know how to respond to Jesus – a struggle we face as well. For when Jesus comes, He is disruptive and invasive to life as we know it. He does not come merely to bail us out of a jam or consult on our dysfunction, he comes to powerfully transfer us from the dominion of darkness to his beloved kingdom. He comes to be Savior, Christ, Lord.
Join us this Lord’s Day, December 10, as we examine Joseph’s response to a shocking revelation recorded in Matthew 1:21-25 and ponder our own response to this invasive God. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions. Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.