Author’s Note: I love Kayla McClurg – her writings, her pastoral approach to life, her deep wisdom of the Scriptures and her passionate love for God and neighbor.
She always asks thoughtfully provocative Questions, and in this sermon she does it again: “What are we doing (with our days, our lives , our time)?” and “What are we expecting (of God, of life, etc.)?”
So, once again, I am letting her words speak of The Word in this Advent Season. EnJoy.
For Sunday, December 11, 2016 – Matthew 11:2-11
During this season of your life, what are you doing? What are you expecting? Where will you go for fulfillment? What are you likely to find there?
What is John the Baptist doing? Once a popular reformer drawing crowds to the wilderness with his fiery call to prepare the way for one coming who is greater than he, now he sits abandoned in a prison cell paying a steep price for his faithfulness. John wonders, what is the heralded Messiah doing? Is he fulfilling the prophetic promises John had dared to speak? Is he healing the blind and lame, the deaf and even the dead? Are the poor truly being lifted up? Is there evidence of God’s good news in the land, or will John’s work have been in vain?
During this season, what are you expecting to see? Jesus asks the crowds who followed John: Why did you go out into the wilderness? Did you expect a grand rally, a phenomenon, a motivational preacher in soft, extravagant robes? You could go to the palaces for political pleasures like these. Or did you go to John because you were truly ready for your lifestyle to be called into question, your habits reshaped, your old ways relinquished? What did you expect to see in John, to receive from John? What do you expect from me?
Two guiding questions for these remaining days of Advent and for the remainder of our lives:
- What are we doing?
- What are we expecting?
Even from the confines of a cell, John continues to serve God’s purposes. We, too, whether in public or hidden ways, are in the right place for the right purpose if we keep listening and following, expecting a new path, helping to create a new path. Our small deeds become the evidence of our faithfulness, the way we help spread the good news that God is coming—indeed, is already at hand.