Zachariah said to the angel, “Do you expect me to believe this? ” Luke 1:18
The results of the election this year has placed great emphasis on expectation and hope. Unfortunately, the expectation feels like vindictiveness and the proclamation of hope is about its rapid departure. If you are struggling with these, I want to remind you of Joseph Kennedy, Sr.
No single person was more responsible for the Stock Market Crash of 1929 than Joseph Kennedy, Sr. He and his friends were brash in their complete manipulation of Wall Street. They would bribe journalists to provide false reports to drive up the price of stock. Then sell the worthless stock to ignorant investors at a huge gain. Immediately before the crash, Kennedy divested from the market and didn’t lose a penny. Amazing timing, hint, hint, wink, wink.
Five years later, President Roosevelt named Kennedy the first chairman of the newly formed U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The appointment angered both Republicans and Democrats. They argued the president had placed “the fox in charge of the hen house.” Kennedy ended up doing a phenomenal job. Many of his regulations still guide Wall Street. However, later in his career, he left public office in disgrace when he suggested compromise with Hitler. He exceeded people’s hopes, but disappointed their expectations all in one life time.
Too often, we attach hope and expectation to human limitations. Then confuse these with God. This is not just true in 2016, it’s true of Zachariah. Zachariah is praying when the angel Gabriel appears. He asks Gabriel, “How do you expect me to believe this?” Despite his faith, he is too bound by human limitations to see how God acts in the world.
Christian hope is not bound by human limitations. It is the expectation God will be intimately active and engaged with the world. Even when the world is not going our way. How do I expect you to believe this? Look to the manger and the God who comes in weakness to save the world. Those bound by human wisdom struggle to see this as hope. But, those who do, engage the world with a hope beyond human understanding.
Click to read: Luke 1: 8-20
Reflection Questions: When has someone exceeded your expectations? When were you wrong about a future prediction? What does it mean to your daily life that God actively engages the world we live in? How do you share the activity of God with others?
Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com and Brigitte Tohm