What do we expect from our God? The Judeans expected a Messiah, a warrior-king that would restore the political independence and military might of Davidic Israel. Some Christians seem to expect a vengeful judge, or maybe a small-minded bookkeeper, tallying the sum total of each life and delivering a judgment, rewarding or punishing. Others look for miracles and signs in an age of skepticism. Then there are those who have given up all expectation for God in this world, for Emmanuel. They see a bleak and empty world and just hope that something better will follow this life. What do you expect?

Paul asks us to discern the pouring out of Divine Love in the improbability of the Christian message. Jesus ministry shatters all of our expectations, turns our sense of rights and privileges, of justice and of order on its head. The last shall be first, He tells us. Die for your fellows. Give it all away. Embrace your pain. Even death is shattered in His resurrection. To believe what Christ asks us to believe is to go against the logic of this world. To take a daring leap in loving holy foolishness.

Switchfoot, a rock band of Christian surfers, sings of “standing on the edge of everything I’ve never been before.” What are you standing on the edge of? And will you know when to leap?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, you pour out your gifts whether we want them or not. You open the door to growth and to change, to a relationship with all that is God through the foolishness of the Cross. Remind us as we celebrate Christ’s earthly ministry that not everything is as it appears. That sometimes it is the right time to fall into Divine Love. Amen.