In church today, the scripture came from the words of John the Baptist as he is in prison, wondering if Jesus is truly the Messiah: “Are you the one who was to come, or are we to expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:3). You’d think all of his trumpeting “Prepare the way of the Lord!” would have convinced John as it did others that this was, in fact, the hoped-for one. But the sermon today talked about our need to be dis-illusioned of the Christ we expect in order that we can discover the Christ who is here.
And for me, this was a very meaningful contrast. I long for the Christ who rides in to rescue and heal all the wounded ones, who brings justice to the oppressed ones, who brings peace to my own disordered heart and sets my feet forever on a path of purpose and joy. But that is not the Christ who comes. The Christ who comes is not interested in saving me in the ways I expect to be saved. He is not interested in reinforcing my small-minded ideas of how he should work in this world. In the end, what he is interested in, is me.
And he tells me to save my life, I have to lose it. He says that healing my life might mean breaking it to pieces. He calls me to quiet all the noise of my own expectations and listen, quietly, patiently, not all at once, but over the long haul, for the steady sounds of his mercy pulsing into my life and the call of his grace that never ends. And what I hear when I listen is so simple: I am love, love, love.