Great expectations! And no, I’m not talking about the thirteenth novel of Charles Dickens. What I have in mind is the Gospel according to Luke and its take-on the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Right before Jesus is baptized by the prophet John, people from all over gather around John, their hearts filled with expectation. Because what if? What if John is the one who will help them out of their misery, out of their plight as those whose land has been overtaken by the Romans? And what if John is the Messiah – you know, the one whom God has anointed and sent to bring about political freedom?
Now we know that John wasn’t the one. John, actually, he was quick to explain that Jesus was the one. But let’s be honest, Jesus has disappointed. He has disappointed those who expected political freedom. He has disappointed those who expected to run the show. He has disappointed those who expected no change, those who expected the status quo. He has disappointed those who expected to have an upper hand, those with ulterior motives, those with an agenda and a scheme. He has disappointed those who thought they knew the best.
And he still disappoints. Jesus disappoints, because he has not come to fulfill our expectations, just like he did not fulfill the political, messianic or religious expectations of the people gathered around John at the Jordan River. However beautiful, extraordinary, or memorable, we will not find Jesus in the sentiment for the way things used to be or the way we wish things could be. Jesus is all about the moment here and now. He was born, he died, he rose, and he lives to bring us back to God right here and right now, even if that means shattering our expectations.
The question then sounds: Are we ready to let go of our expectations that don’t bring us closer to God and to one another? And are we ready give to God whatever it is that hinders us from true life and growth? We decide, and we answer…
Happy Saturday, beloveds,