There are phrases I've found myself uttering as I've moved through my young adult years:
"Don't ask for that promotion; it would hurt too much to be let down."
"He wouldn't be interested in you . . . it's better not to hope that he is."
"Keep your expectations low—it's just easier that way."
Whether it's in work or in love or in family life, there's always the temptation to keep my expectations low so that in the end I don't experience the pain of disappointment. Do you ever feel this temptation?
Perhaps that's why the first line of today's Gospel reading made my heart flutter:
"The people were filled with expectation . . ." (Luke 3:15).
Here the Jewish people were . . . waiting, hoping, and longing for their Savior, and so bold as to hope that John was He. They didn't fear the letdown. Nor were they bothered by the possibility of disappointment.
They had great expectations that their God was coming to save them.
When I look back on the past decade and a half of my adult life, there were sprinkled moments of that same bold expectation and the joy of knowing that He held me close no matter the outcome. There were also times when I kept the real desires of my heart hidden from Him. Wallowing in doubt, I'd find myself choosing not to expect great things out of fear that He'd ultimately disappoint.
Saint John the Baptist reminds our forgetful hearts to look to the One coming after him and to have the greatest of expectations of the good He will bring. As we enter into this New Year, let us be filled with the same great expectation of our Jewish brothers and sisters: let us boldly ask that He might reveal Himself in our hearts, our friendships, and our families.
Today's feast day is the Baptism of the Lord. Here's a little brief lesson in the history behind it.
Karen Schultz hails from the Land of 10,000 lakes, where she is often found in or near one of them. As a doula, lactation educator, and FertilityCare Practitioner, she finds joy in helping women to embrace the gift of their bodies. Downtime is found in quiet adoration chapels, farmers markets and gardens, listening to bluegrass music, and embracing the diversity of Minnesota’s seasons. You can find out more about her here.