“The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.” Luke 3:15
Today, we celebrate the feast day of The Baptism of the Lord. This is why I found it strange that the first line of the gospel reading opened with people questioning whether John was the Messiah. But we see a keyword that gives us a clue in today’s scripture, expectation.
With the expectation that John might in fact be Jesus, did they not notice what was right in front of them?
Don’t we do this as well? Fill our hearts with our own expectations only to later be led astray or disappointed by outcomes? I wondered where I may have done the very same thing in my own life.
When God decided to restore my writing career, my expectation was that I had to knock down the door of large publishers in order to get noticed. I would have to send out many emails, send them my finalized manuscript and somehow meet someone connected to someone bigger. My question seemed the same as the people surrounding John and Jesus today, are you the Christ?
While I was busy sending out emails and proposals in line with my expectations, I got an unexpected and unprompted email from this very publication, Missio Dei. Once I opened it and read it, I didn’t have to ask, Is this Jesus? I already knew. While John baptized with water, Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit. While I was busy drowning in the publishing ocean, the Holy Spirit was throwing me a life raft.
The Baptism of our Lord reminds us that Jesus is the most powerful force in the world, a God who comes with the Holy Spirit and fire. And while we sit with our expectations and imagine how things will go, Christ comes along to open our eyes to the things that He wants for us.
Today if you are struggling with any sort of situation, you might consider that it is not the situation that is causing you anxiety but the expectation of what God will do in that situation. It is only when we let go of our preconceived notions of how it will be and submit to the power of the Holy Spirit, that God will be able to truly work in our lives. Begin your morning instead with a simple prayer, Thy will be done.