The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; They will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. (Isaiah 35)
Monday – Second week of Advent
In the time of Jesus there was not one kind of thinking when it comes to the expected Messiah. Since the exile in Babylon, Jews hoped for a restoration of the kingdom of Israel they experienced under king David. That hope was more focused on a change of history than a specific person that would arrive as their savior. That is the reason it was so hard for the people in Jesus’ days to see whether he was the chosen one for the Messianic age. The way he talked and acted made them curious. His working of working of miracles and healing the sick could suggested that he was God’s chosen one. But when he was told people that their sins were forgiven, it shocked them and in their opinion inconsistent with the messiah. His reputation made them curious but his way of acting made them upset. It did not fulfill their expectations. We know of course better but for them was it hard to understand. Obviously their expectation was too low. They put restrictions on what God is able to do. Many Saints and mystic thinkers throughout history witness that we tend to limit God if we hold him to our limited expectations. Our vision is always a limited one.
God sees the big picture, while we only see partly. That was what happened with the people that Jesus e, wonderful to say, he had so much more to offer that even death could not stop him. When we preparing for Jesus coming in the season of Advent we also need to widen our expectation of what God can do. “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the human heart what God has in store for those who love him.” Spend time in prayer to tell Him your expectations. But don’t forget to listen to what he has to tell you about the things He has in mind! As we work at building up our faith in Advent, we need a better understanding of how we can be heralds for the Lord, by widen our expectation. We need to get more in touch with how we can be heralds of the Good News. Isaiah tells us already the Good News: “The Lord has ransomed us”! We all need all this reminder when we go out and fulfill our calling. It’s God that strengthens us through Jesus. He who strengthens the hands that are feeble and the knees that are weak. By humbling ourselves and submit to Gods will, we reach the power of Christ. Then he will speak to us these words: “your sins have been forgiven.” With that Word, we are healed and all the good things as prophesied become true for us. Amen.