12TH DECEMBER 2021
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
PSALM (ISAIAH 12:2-6)
In today's Gospel reading, I want us to reflect on the verse that says, " As the people were in expectation and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ. " Other Bible translations say, " People's hopes began to rise, and they began to wonder whether perhaps John might be the Messiah. "
If the people were in expectation, it means that previously they were not in expectation and if the people's hope began to rise, it means that before that, their hope had dwindled or was not even there.
Expectation means to think that something will happen because it seems likely or has already been planned.
Prior to the people having expectation, John the Baptist had already gone throughout the whole area of the River Jordan, preaching, " Turn away from your sins and be baptized and God will forgive your sins and he quotes the book of prophet Isaiah that says, " Get the road ready for the Lord; make a straight path for him to travel. The whole human race will see God' s salvation. " Could these be the words that raises the hopes of the people?
Also prior to the people having these expectation, John had reminded them that as the descendants of Abraham, they needs to produce good fruits as evidence of their repentance otherwise the ace is ready to cut down every tree that does not bear good fruits. Could these words have prompted them to have expectations?
John also challenged those in the crowds to share their food and clothing with those who do not have, he told the tax collectors not to collect more than the law requires and the soldiers not to engage in violent robbery and not to accuse people falsely and to be satisfied with their wages. Could this challenge have raised the expectations of the people?
It is not openly clear whether the people had expectation based on John's call to them to repent or on his challenge against systematic corruption of the time bad the indifference of the people towards the plight of others but it is human nature to always have hope when someone talks positively about issues that are so pertinent to your heart.
It is the nature of faith to have expectations because John talks about repentance in a way that does not make people think of joining him out in the wilderness instead he points them to the very places in which they already work and struggle so as to show them the places where God calls them to be, and if this is how John guides them, then what do they expect if not to strive for honesty, kindness and hard work.
What are your expectations? Why do you have them?
Where and when and how do you expect them fulfilled?
Sometimes it is easy to remain at the level of expectation even when we know that what we are expecting is not understandable and clear because today's Gospel reading says that the people were not sure whether perhaps John was the Christ, sometimes it is easy to remain at the level of expectation because expectation comes with an element of responsibility that we may not be ready to undertake.
Your expectations on others also places expectations on you because expectations come from planning, from opportunities and from relationships.
Above all, expectation comes from what we undergo and from what surrounds us. The people during the time of John the Baptist were under economic, military and spiritual suppression, no wonder they had high hopes that John might be the Messiah who would save them from such oppression. What are your expectations?
As you think of your expectations, bear in mind that they can be full of anticipation, they can weigh you down, they can be complicated, heavy and with false optimism. Our expectation on God is based on what God does for us in our situations.