The disciples and crowd were filled with expectation on the first Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem to the cheers of the people. This was Messiah, the Deliverer who would cleanse the Temple and city and country of the hated Romans. Everyone was sure that Messiah would return Israel to her proper place in the world and all would be well.
God’s plan was quite different. When their expectations weren’t met, the people turned against Jesus, shouting ‘crucify him.’ Too often we box in God by trying to impose our plans for this event or that dream. Maybe we need to rethink our desire to control the outcome and let God have a little more chance to work!
A couple of weeks ago I attended a retreat where Bishop Frey talked a bit about our expectations of God. He reminded us that our God is a God of action. Throughout the Bible, we hear God say “I am the God who led you out of bondage,” I am the God who fed you in the wilderness,” “I am the God who redeemed you,” “I am the God who called you by name,” etc., etc. Despite that, we often have limits on our expectations of what God will do.
Unlike the judge, who gives in because the widow nags, God gives us what we need out of love. When we give our dreams and desires and needs to God, amazing things happen. What God does with them, will be greater than anything we can imagine! I confess that I do try to outline for God the way things should go. When I remember and step back, then amazing ‘coincidences’ happen. Has that ever happened to you?
Bishop Frey used a favorite quote during his talk. (He admits he doesn’t remember where he got the quote and a quick online search finds several clergy claiming or using it in sermons and meditations.)
“Hope is the ability to hear the melody of the future.
Faith is the courage to dance to it today.”
What expectations bind you? Are they expectations of yourself, your life, or even of God?
Wings party. As you enter Holy Week and follow Christ on his journey to the Cross and Easter, may you find renewed joy in your expectations.
See you next week-Easter Sunday!