Advent is a season of expectations, if it is anything. we are expecting Jesus, of course. Or that’s what we say if we are Christians. But we also expect things to become right, somehow. we expect to meet a dashing figure at a holiday party who might sweep in and somehow make us feel at home, loved enough. Or we expect great things of our spouses or significant others or parents or children. we hope and long for gifts, for extra money in the form of bonuses or maybe a check from a long lost aunt. we hope for the glow and warmth and sense of belonging to be ours. we are full of expectations, and yet so reluctant to let these hopes be sifted by God. we do not want our expectations to be questioned or thwarted. I started reading Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning tonight, fighting against the temptation to assume (as a friend of mine recently said about this book) that I already know what he is going to say. In the preface, he quotes a blessing written by his spiritual director, Larry Hein. It says,

“May all your expectations be frustrated, may all your plans be thwarted, may all your desires be withered into nothingness, that you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God who is Father, Son, and Spirit.”

It seems like a strange but fitting word for the first day of advent. May our expectations be frustrated during this season. May we be brought to the poverty in which His love can really speak to us.