In the theme of Advent to get ready, we come to a reading in Matthew where John the Baptist is in gaol and is beginning to wonder is Jesus the Messiah, the one that they were waiting for or should they be looking for another? How do we prepare for one that realistically we had no idea what it looks like? God does not work in our logic or reason, but often throws things in that surprise us. The superhero Messiah came in the form of a normal child, a baby born of a woman, loved by a family. The expectations of miraculous came much later and that confirmed what already was.
It reminds me of the regular struggle we face as Christians as to what is the will of God? How do we discern it? Some say, there is no God’s will, God just allows us to live the life we choose. My experience of the journey of faith is not this. I think God does have a dream or vision for us and this world, we are given free will so we can choose, but throughout this, God is always available to offer wisdom and guidance, in the hope that all can be the best they can be. It is not always easy to know this wisdom, or hear the quiet still voice, interestingly the only time I have ever been sure is when I see the consequences of the actions or decisions I have made and they reflect the things I know are valuable to God. Mind you there are some times when I know that in the beginning but I choose to ignore it too!
I wonder if Jesus was giving us a model here to know the things of God? People who couldn’t see things before see, people who could not hear before hear, people who could not move are leaping for joy, those who were dead become alive, the poor hear the good news. How do we know people are from God, or the path is from God? It reflects the things of God.
This is not always easy to see or hear. So I wonder if preparing for Advent with this reading is about opening our eyes and ears, looking for those moments and people when God shines through. What is your joy, your hope this Christmas? How is God present with you in ways you did not expect? How do you know, when you have brushed up against God?