Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel? When the Lord restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice (Psalm 14:7 New Living Translation).
Personal crisis is the engine that makes a story go. What “sells” a viewer or reader is the dysfunction of their fellow human beings.
This is why over the last 7 plus seasons the TV show “House” has been so popular. It features a gifted, yet deeply flawed diagnostic physician by the name of Gregory House. At the end of last season we were left with the good doctor having crashed his car into his girlfriend’s house (she also was his boss) and fleeing the country to some remote tropical location.
As season 8 opens, House is in jail. He has been there for 8 months.
House is a middle-aged man with a cane who doesn’t have the physical skills to deal with the potential harm he faces in prison. As he did on the outside, he survives by his wits.
With 5 days left before parole, he is told to stay out of trouble. For House, as all fans of the show know, this is well nigh impossible.
Indeed, he gets to the final day and messes up. Seeing the prison doctor making a stupid decision that is endangering a patient’s life, House breaks prison rules, causes a scene and ends up with 8 more months in jail
In the next epidode of the new season, House is told that he has a visitor, his former hospital’s dean of medicine. This would be in House’s mind Lisa Cuddy, the aforementioned boss and girlfriend.
However, it turns out to be Dr. Eric Foreman, an African American physician who has been at odds with House for the entire series and now has replaced Cuddy. He is there to “rescue” House.
In exchange for working as a diagnostician again at the hospital, Foreman offers House a “get out of jail free” card. At first reluctant, House finally accepts.
House’s return to the hospital isn’t joyful. His former team has moved on. Furthermore his best friend, Dr. James Wilson, who House injured in the car incident at Cuddy’s home, has no intention of renewing their old ties.
In additon, House is getting paid minimum wage, has a broom closet for an office, and is told by Foreman that if he slips up once, he will go back to jail. Despite the temptation to go back to his usual contrary ways, House manages to toe the line and do what he does best: he solves the case Foreman yanked him out of jail for.
Along the way, he also inspires courage in his old friend Wilson. The patient House is dealing with is his, and Wilson lacks the fortitude to get the patient to make a decision that could save their life.
House convinces Wilson of what he has to do. Wilson does what House tells him to do and the patient makes a painful, but correct, choice and is saved.
During their professional interactions, House tries to be his old playful self with Wilson, overtures which his friend rejects. House tells him,”Look, I like you. We have fun together. Do whatever you have to do to get over this.”
At shows end, with his old friend having proved his professional and personal mettle, Wilson walks into House’s new office (actually, part of the old one which Foreman has returned to him) and punches him in the nose. Wilson then looks at House and asks,”Dinner later?”
House’s recovery has begun. He has regained his job and his best friend. The smile on his face is also the first sign of the possibility of some semblance joy coming back into House’s life.
Over two thousand years ago, God’s people were in a prison of their own making. Despite having a special role in God’s plan, the Jewish people had regularly rejected Him and were currently under a harsh Roman occupation.
In the midst of this mess Jesus Christ was born. God’s purpose in the birth was told to his mother Mary beforehand (Luke 1:26-38).
Mark Lowry asks the question about how much Mary really understood of just who her son was in these lyrics:
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.
The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.