“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.’
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Matthew 11:7-12
One of my husband's hopes while we have been here in Alaska is to see a bear in the wild. While walking in the woods we have heard what we thought were their growling calls, and there is evidence of them in many places. obviously, we don't want to have a close encounter, but seeing them near Starrigavan in a stream would be lovely. We have gone out to the Fortress of the Bear, where they care for orphaned bear cubs, but it is not the same.
The conversation turned to John the Baptist and why Jesus was different in his practices than John. Jesus wondered what the people really expected, and what they had hoped would happen. We often have strange expectations of 0people and places that are very different than reality. Our expectations are often based on false hopes and our own ignorance of the true nature of things. When we guess, we most often guess wrong. God invites us to open our eyes to the blessings around us, willing ourselves to see the true nature of God's love in our lives, rather than holding to childish or ancient expectations from the depths of our imagination. God's love is real and powerful and right here in the nitty gritty of our lives.
Today I ask God to help me welcome love's presence right in the here and now. May we set aside false hopes and expectations and embrace the Creator's love right here in our midst.