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Saturday, December 5, 2020 8:17 PM

Expectations - Nov. 10, 2020

Saturday, December 5, 2020 8:17 PM
Saturday, December 5, 2020 8:17 PM

Mark 9:14-29

We are a week past the election, and we have a new president-elect in Joe Biden. If the current electoral college map holds up as most think it will, President-Elect Biden will have the same number of electoral college votes as President Trump did when he defeated Hillard Clinton four years ago.

When it became clear that Secretary Clinton would not win the presidency, she did what others before her have done. She acknowledged the will of the voters and wished the president the best because he would lead the whole nation, not just parts of it. Whereas a concession speech and best wishes for the president-elect are not required by the Constitution, our nation has come to expect it and as result it has always helped to heal the partisan divide that elections can bring.

Expectations flow from past experiences that define what is normal in a society. Expectations provide a sense of hope of what can be and what should be in a world that does not always get things right. Expectations are what the world has of the church even for those who do not claim allegiance to it.

 

So, a man brings his sick son to the disciples of Jesus with an expectation they would be able to help him. The disciples were seen as those who shared company with Jesus and from their proximity to him are expected to have some of the power Jesus possessed. The disciples are perfectly willing to accept both the expectation that the man had of them and the responsibility to do something about the son’s condition.

The disciples put forward the effort. The disciples do the best they can. But the disciples fail in the expectation that others had in them.

Their failure may alter future expectations that persons have about the church. Their failure could cause others to see the church as powerless to deal with the hurt and pain of our present age. But the day is saved because Jesus showed up. When Jesus appeared, the father conveyed his disappointment with the disciples. He brought his son to them for them to heal him, but they could not.

However, Jesus did not disappoint the father. Jesus healed his son and reminded the disciples that whereas there may be limits to the church’s power, there is no limit to God’s power. Our hope is not in institutions that sometimes let us down. Our hope is in a person who loves us and desires the best for us. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

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