Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11, 2-11 – Third Sunday of Advent
Last year we visited the International Peace Gardens. Within this enormous expanse dedicated to the peace between Canada and the USA, there is a conservation garden for succulents and cacti. My experience with desert plants is quite limited, having mostly lived in the dense forest of British Columbia. When we entered the conservation garden, I was overwhelmed with heat and the closeness of spikey plants. As I continued walking through, I noticed how there were large numbers of these spikey plants that, surprisingly, had gorgeous and huge flowers decorating them. When I think about it, how odd is that? A place of desolation and dryness where nothing flourishes but … flowers? In the most unlikely of plants, a cactus, thorny and unwelcoming, sprouts a most beautiful flower. Poetically phrased in the first reading, “The desert and the parched land will exult.”
Jesus tells John’s disciples, “Go and tell John what you hear and see,” essentially – look at the flowers in bloom. Abundant flowers are blooming right in the midst of this desert! John has lived his life preparing for the One to come, and because of his vigilance, he knows what question to ask of Jesus. How many contemporaries couldn’t even recognise the signs? Living in the waiting brought about fruit for John, just as it does for us, as well.
This weekend we rejoice in our waiting – we remember to be vigilant in preparing ourselves so that we might recognise Christ in our midst, that we might identify the desert flower in bloom in our day-to-day, and we look forward to celebrating the birth of that flower who brings us into our own bloom.
Who might be experiencing a desert in their life? Consider sending an encouraging text or email offering a prayer for them that their desert might end soon with exultation.
Jesus, as we await the celebration of your birth, we rejoice at the abundant life you have given us. We ask your help to remain vigilant in preparing our hearts in our everyday life as we await your return.
Copyright 2016 Jane Korvemaker
Jane Korvemaker loves food, family, wine, and God (perhaps not in that order). She holds a Certificate in Culinary Arts, which pairs perfectly with her Bachelor in Theology. A former Coordinator of Youth Ministry, she writes from the beautiful and cold province of Saskatchewan, Canada. She works from home and takes care of her three very hard-working children. Jane regularly blogs at www.ajk2.ca.