Our reading for Sunday, June 9 will be Luke 7:11-35. This reading has several parts including a middle part in which Jesus asked the crowd what were they expecting to see when they went out to see John in the desert. John’s disciples asked Jesus if he was the one for whom they were waiting. He said nothing to them, but proceeded to heal several people. Then he told them to tell John that the scriptures have been fulfilled.
If this is the first time you have visited this website, what were you expecting to see? What are your expectations or hopes when you visit a church new to you? What do you expect or hope churches will do in the communities where they are located? How are your expectations shaped by what you see and hear about a particular church?
The people went into the desert to see John because they lived in a system of oppression by the Romans, oppression by their local leaders chosen by the Romans, and oppression by the religious leaders of their time. Since the defeat of the Maccabees, Jewish people of all classes were sharing oral and written stories of hope of regaining their freedom from their foreign oppressors, literature of the apocalypse, but there was little hope for most people in their day to day lives.
Many people hunger for hope today, hope for struggles in their personal lives, and hope for challenges for the world as a whole. Their particular hopes vary, but they deeply desire changes leading to better lives. An important instrument for nurturing hopes and helping those hopes blossom into reality is a caring, thoughtful, patient and courageous community. My hope is that this will be the experience of everyone who visits St. Matthew’s. I expect people who visit us will be met with love that allows them to be whom they are, and to connect with us on their terms.