Third Sunday of Advent year C Matthew 11:2-11
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?”Matthew 11:2-3
Have you ever been really excited for something, and then when it happened, it didn’t really live up to the hype? I’m sure we all have, at least I know I’ve seen at least one movie that should have been great and I’m pretty sure was a total dud.
But at least I wasn’t the one in the wilderness shouting “Prepare ye the way of this highly anticipated movie”. But that’s what John the Baptist had been doing. He had been preparing everyone for the coming of the Messiah. The person who could come and topple the corrupt government and would usher in the Kingdom of God.
And yet John sits in jail. Jesus didn’t come out of that baptismal water and immediately jump on a white horse and bring the Romans to their knees. In fact, he wasn’t at all what they expected.
And isn’t that the way of it?
We are prepared for happiness, and sometimes we are called to some unhappy places.
We are prepared for love, and sometimes the ones we love were not the ones we were meant to be with forever.
We are prepared for success, and sometimes we help others succeed instead.
We are prepared for royalty and all of its fanfare, and yet this is the season where we meet our savior in the most humble of places.
And even though we know the story, and we know why this baby in a manger is so important, we are still sometimes like John, wondering if this Jesus is really what we were expecting. Does Jesus really ask us to love our neighbor? And is our neighbor really everyone? Does Jesus really challenge those in power and raise up those who are weak?
And we know the answer is yes. We know that Jesus is all that and so much more. So, in this season of Advent, let us shake loose our expectations, so that the unexpected Jesus can surprise us once again.