“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:21
Anticipation. Do you remember the song by Carly Simon? Unfortunately, every time I hear it or think of it, I remember the ketchup commercial describing the slow pour of ketchup out of the bottle. It is so creamy and rich that the “taste is worth the wait.” We know what ketchup tastes like as well as mustard. I like both and I anticipate a certain flavor when I put it on my food. But what if I anticipated ketchup as I poured it on my food and bam, it tasted like mustard! Even though I like mustard, my anticipation of something different would spoil any expected enjoyment.
Jesus comes to the people and for many, his mission statement from Isaiah was fine, but he wasn’t who they expected. (Luke 4:14-21) Accepting him instead of the anticipated Messiah was much like putting a square peg in a round hole. He just didn’t seem to fit. His teachings of peace, love, and kindness were all fine and good, but how was he going to overthrow the Roman Empire?
There was so much anticipation surrounding the coming Messiah. There was hope and an eager looking forward to his arrival and the kingdom of God to rule over the unjust world. Jesus was looking to do just that, but he had his own way of bringing justice and righteousness to the world along with renewing our relationship with God. His way wasn’t anticipated.
Even today, an honest look at ourselves reveals we often promote and accept the Jesus we want. Ignoring any inconvenient teachings or ways not to our liking. Jesus had a ministry with a reason, a purpose, and so do we. We are called to be disciples, to follow the command to love God and humanity and to perform our part in making disciples of all people.
His ministry has been interrupted in many ways at different times. Filtered through the time and minds and voices of humanity. Often, we look to fit Christianity into the thoughts and lives of a generation and the current social norm, even though Jesus will never fit the mere standards of humanity. Join us Sunday as we look to see if we are trying to round off the corners to fit our anticipation.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!