For use with Common, Lutheran and Roman Catholic Lectionaries
Perhaps the unifying factor that all six of these texts have in common is that the human condition is characterized by anxiety and fear. This anxiety and fear is caused by political oppression (Exodus 14:19-31; 1 Kings 19:9-18; and to some extent, Matthew 14:22-33). It is caused by economic depression, dishonesty, injustice, and war (Psalm 106:4-12 and Psalm 85:8-13), concern for one's own people (Romans 9:1-5), and all of the various storms and uncertainties of life (Matthew 14:22-33).
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John the Baptist asked Jesus, through his own followers, if he really was the “expected one.” Jesus’ reply was to tell John about what he had been up to. Jesus was healing people left and right of all kinds of irreversible ailments. Even raising people back to life! To top it all off, the poor were hearing the good news. Then Jesus said “if that makes you happy then I’m your guy.”
There wasn't much that Adrian was good at, except swimming. He learned to swim when he was little more than a baby, and he loved it. When he was seven he joined a swimming club. It was there that he first met Mr Stevens, the swimming coach.
When a woman is pregnant, we often say she is "expecting." That is a good term for it, because she's expecting or anticipating that a baby will be born at some appointed time in the future, and along with that baby will come a whole wealth of other expectations. There will be expectations about who the baby will look like, and what that baby will be like. There will be expectations about the baby's future -- the kind of life he or she will live; the kind of person the child will become. As V. S. Naipaul once said, "One isn't born one's self.