Advent 12/11/22 Sacred Space

Sunday, December 11

Matthew 11:2-11 (NRSV)

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with a skin disease are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What, then, did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What, then, did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’
“Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist, yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.


Our brindle cat Hobo loves snow. He watches for hours the snowflakes dance and twirl past the window. When someone comes in from outside, Hobo will bolt towards the door to play in the snow on the mat. And when the snow melts away, he will look from the window to us and back as if to say “Where is the snow? Make it come back.” He enjoys snow so much except for one detail… he hates to physically be outside in the snow. I have taken him outside on snowy days expecting that he would roll and play like he does inside. Instead, he runs for the house without looking at the snow… to then demand for snow as soon as he is inside. We know snow is the same whether outside or inside a building, but for our cat, unless it matches his rigid parameters of how snow should be, he misses to enjoy the moment.

Like our cat, the Jewish people had expectations of how God would redeem the Israelite nation. They expected a grand champion who would reign in worldly power. But God told the Jewish people of his plans for their redemption through the Old Testament prophets. Jesus reminds his audience and us in this passage that God’s plan is greater than our perspective, yet we can miss it because of what we expect God to do and how to be. However, Christmas celebrates God’s love shattering earthly expectations through Jesus as a baby born in Bethlehem to become the foundation of our unexpected path to redemption.

This Advent season, I ask you to consider what expectations you have that are possibly interrupting the moment God wants to share with you.

-Moriah Plattner

No Comments