The Third Sunday in Advent

Sunday, December 11
Al Swanson

And they said to him [Jesus], “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John [the Baptist] what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with a skin disease are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. Matthew 11:3b-5

John’s question is key to our faith. Jesus could have answered simply, “I am he.” Instead, Jesus uses examples to teach them, and us, to be observant, thoughtful, and introspective. Implicit in his answer, Jesus instructs us to keep an open mind as we observe, think, and consider our lives.

Some questions come to mind: How have we gotten where we are? What pieces of life’s puzzle came together to assist? How or where did we meet the people who turned out to be mentors? What doors of opportunity suddenly appeared and opened?

When I look back at my life, I am often amazed at how circumstances came together – in my professional careers and in my personal life. Twists and turns I could not have imagined have placed me where I am. If I had tried to write a script for my life, the story would not have been as interesting or wonderful as my life has turned out. The script would probably have been pretty boring. I could not have imagined the breadth of experiences or opportunities that I have had and that have shaped me. I did not accomplish those things on my own.

As I look back, I believe through my faith in God, that Jesus was watching over me, leading me, and providing and opening opportunities for me. The Lord’s script of my life was far better than anything I could have ever imagined.

Lord, bless us with the humility to recognize that we cannot accomplish things on our own. Keep us aware of the world around us. Strengthen our faith that you are always with us. Amen.

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