Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Not What I Expected . . .


Luke 24:1-3
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

We entertain expectations each and every day. When we wake in the morning to a clear, blue sky and singing birds, we anticipate a good day ahead. In planning a vacation to a place we've never been, we imagine the best of possibilities for sight-seeing and relaxing. We work hard at our jobs, hoping for a raise. We expect the best from our children, in behavior, in school work and we dream about their future success and happiness. Unfortunately, high expectations, as we know all too well, don't always pan out. That great day ahead was fantastic until you wrecked your car, it rained your entire vacation, you didn't even get a bonus at work, let alone a raise, and little Bobby failed math this year. We find ourselves saying, "This is certainly not what I expected!"

Paradoxically, if our expectations about situations, people, or places are not unrealistically high, we are often pleasantly surprised to find things are better than we could have hoped for or ever dreamed of. The women carrying their spices to anoint Jesus' lifeless body anticipated doing just that. They were probably weeping along their way and wondering who would help them roll back the stone. Imagine their utter astonishment when, arriving at the tomb, the shone had already been removed and the tomb itself stood empty! Who had taken their Lord away? Suddenly, two men appear before them in dazzling whiteness and turn all their expectations on their heads: "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!" (Luke 24:5b-6a) Oh, what glorious news and absolutely, positively not at all what the women expected!

When it comes to God, be ready to expect the unexpected.

Readings
Psalms 5, 6 or 10, 11
1 Samuel 15:24-35
Acts 9:32-43
Luke 23:56b-24:11

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