Expectations

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Rev. Sela  Finau

Expectations

Scripture: Matthew 11:2-6 (NRSV) When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with a skin disease are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

Devotion: Our image of perfection is usually based on something other than reality. We expect perfection from those who wait on us at a restaurant, a grocery store, our political representatives, and the commuters who share the highway with us. Such is seldom the case. 

We all do it to ourselves at various times, and this is especially true for holidays. We expect everyone to arrive on time, love the present we bought and the cake we baked for Christmas dinner. We send out cards we are confident everyone will appreciate, and we cook a meal that will be perfect in every way, so much so that our family gathering will be merry and the whole season will be perfect in every way.  

But such is never the case. It always turns out differently than we expect it. And because we set our standards so high, we miss the point of the season and are disappointed when others fail to meet our expectations.

Such was the case with John the Baptist. He baptized his cousin, Jesus, and proclaimed him the Messiah. Now he is in jail and soon to lose his head for insulting King Herod. And yet, as time passed, Jesus didn’t appear to be what John expected. Jesus didn’t live up to the standards John had set for him. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one, or should we search for another Messiah?” 

Jesus replied to the disciples by telling them to return to John and tell him what they had seen and heard. The lame walk, the blind see, and the dead rise. He can draw his conclusions. 

Prayer: Lord, sometimes our image of what should be is wrong. In this Advent season, open our eyes and ears to a different experience of Christmas. Amen.

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