Once again, we have clues to something. The Pharisees send people to ask John The Baptist who he is, and John denies being any of the people he asks about, including Elijah. John denies being any of them; yet later Jesus makes a statement that seemed to say that John was indeed someone!
Of course, John would deny it. If he had said who he was, it would have diverted attention from what he was supposed to do, and the one whose coming he proclaimed.
John did say that the one they were waiting for was standing among them and they didn’t know it! Another case of folks waiting for something that’s already here?
There is a secret hidden in today’s Gospel lesson, for those willing to dig and think a bit more deeply. John the Baptist’s disciples ask Jesus that famous question as to whether he is the one they were waiting for. Jesus answers the question by telling them to look and see.
That is also great advice for us. So many of us sit and wait for something that’s “coming”, and I wonder how many of us are waiting for something that is already here, or something that we already have!
So much of religion seems to be based on waiting for something to happen, but how much of the waiting is really necessary? Christians wait for the coming of The Kingdom of God, yet do they need to wait? They are not alone, for some of the Norse wait for Ragnarok, yet others say that Ragnarok has already been!
The question, then, is how much need is there to wait, or are there cases in which we can claim something that some others might think that they need to wait for?
While the Epistle speaks some of what was as opposed to what is now, the Gospel gives us a prophecy by Jesus of what to expect and what to do. And he also promises that that generation of people alive at that time would not pass away before it came to be! So, what gives?
In some other places in the gospels and elsewhere, there are clues to solve that riddle. Those who wish to sit and wait for something that is “coming”, nobody will stop them. But what about the rest of us?
We begin Advent season with a Gospel lesson about the events of Palm Sunday. Many things happened that day, including Jesus expressing his disapproval of what the Temple had become.
The Temple in Jerusalem had been intended as a place of prayer, but under the pretext of maintaining its holiness, people had made it into a commercial enterprise. Might this apply to some things today? Might this be why this story leads-off the lessons read during Advent?
In this time when so many of us make a point of giving thanks, it might be an idea to share some thoughts concerning a major part of giving thanks, that being the act of receiving something for which we are giving thanks.
Most of us can offer examples in which receiving was done and, for that matter, when it actually was not done. I offer a couple that I’ve seen.
The point is something that I offer as a counterpoint to a statement often made by plate-passing preachers. They might claim that their god loves a happy giver, but my deities really get excited about a happy receiver!
There is a connection between Jeremiah’s prophecy and the Gospel lesson, if you look. Five thousand came to hear and see Jesus. From how far away might some of them have come? And add to that, almost all of them would probably have made the journey on foot!