Wednesday (December 8, 2021)

When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What then did you go out into the wilderness to see?” Luke 7:24

A couple of weeks ago, in my children’s sermon I showed them a wrapped “early Christmas present” with an instruction to wait before opening.  So, we talked about waiting.  What I didn’t ask about was what they thought might be in the package; “What was I expecting to see?”

This is a time of year, of course, when a lot of us are being asked to make lists of what we are looking for this Christmas. As Pastor Daniel reminded us in last week’s sermon, it is the great season of preparation for whatever it is we are expecting. But I have to admit, the older I get, the harder it is to make those lists… the harder it is even to know what I’m looking for. So, how about you? Deep down in the quiet regions of your heart, what are you looking for this Christmas?  What are you expecting?

Are you looking for something that will cheer you up, or satisfy the hunger, or numb the discomfort? Are you looking for an estranged friend or a difficult family member to suddenly tell you whatever it is that you have been looking for them say? Are you looking for a preacher who will bend with the winds of popular opinion or political expediency to tell you something pleasant, that will never challenge you to rethink your prejudices or your convenient, conventional morality?

Are you looking for something that will rescue you from your feelings of being overwhelmed and overburdened by a life that is spinning out of control right now?

Obviously, the question of what we are looking for is not exactly new. In the seventh chapter of Luke’s Gospel, an imprisoned John the Baptist, goes to great lengths to try to figure out, before he dies, if Jesus is, in fact, the one they had all been looking for. And Jesus himself turns the very same question to the crowd who had so expectantly chased John out into the desert. “What,” asks the Lord, “were you looking for? What were you expecting to see?”

Whatever it is they may have been expecting – whatever it may be that you are looking for in your heart of hearts this Christmas, know this; that when the living Christ is born into your life, he always comes bringing something a little different from what you were expecting to see… something that far exceeds anything that you have ever seen or heard before.

Pastor Wayne Miller

Stir up your power, O God, and come. Set us free from the limitations of our own narrow vision.  Open us to embrace the adventure of your emerging future with confidence, courage and joy.  Amen.