From the Desktop of the pastor – week of the 3rd Sunday in Advent

Hi all,

So it is really clear that Christmas is coming!  The weather is getting colder, the decorations are going up, and the mall is getting really really busy.  And of course, as I’ve heard from some of you today, Christmas parties are happening!

In fact, my family and I just went to one such Christmas party last night.  It was a potluck kind of deal, which is pretty cool when you get a large group of people as the variety of foods we get is exceptional.  Our group last night was probably close to 60 (that includes kids that aren’t asked to bring food… so we didn’t have like 60 different dishes), so you could imagine the kind of spread we had.

One thing that I thought was interesting and saw some kids eating was this giant marshmallow thing.  Now you may think that I’m exaggerating, but I’m totally not.  This thing was GIANT.  Well, giant when we’re talking about marshmallows at least.  I mean it was probably the size of my fist.  It was basically a huge clump of sugar, water, and gelatin decorated to look more festive and not so unhealthy.

So of course, I asked if my kids wanted one.

My 7 year old was super excited.  He pretty much was bouncing his way to the food to grab one… only to find that there weren’t any left (way to go, dad).  I really didn’t think it was that big a deal, he can have the same experience from eating like 32 regular sized marshmallows at home.  But I soon saw I was wrong… when he started crying.

Disappointment sucks, huh?  When expectations aren’t met and you’re just left hanging wondering what happened to your life.  Of course, the disappoint in the above story is how my expectation of having a kid that wouldn’t cry over giant marshmallows wasn’t met.  It was a sad day.

Anyway, let’s look at next week’s reading:

Isaiah 35:1-10

Psalm 146:5-10

James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11

It seems as though I’m not the only one who faces disappointment.  We read here about John the Baptizer’s disappointment in Jesus.  There he was, sitting in prison, and wondering if Jesus was actually the one that was to save them all.

Because again, he was there sitting in prison… being all “not saved” and stuff.

So he questioned Jesus, and wondered out loud if he was actually wrong about him.  He wondered why his expectation of the Messiah wasn’t met.  He wondered why all these promises had gone unfulfilled.

But in reality, perhaps it was the expectation that was at fault, not the expectiong going unmet.  We know this because Jesus is the Messiah, just not the kind of Messiah that organises prison breaks.

Are our expectations unmet?  Are we at times feeling disappointed with God?  Do we wonder why so many of God’s promises seem unfulfilled?

We’ve all been there.  And if not, we will be.  It’s just a part of who we are as people with expectations, realistic or not.  But the good news is that there is one expectation that will always be met, and that is the expectation that we are forgiven, we are redeemed, we are loved.

And no amount of disappointment would ever change that.


Have a great week, everyone!