Wise Expectations

What do you expect from tomorrow? What will happen? How will it make you feel? How will it effect the following day?

I was reading in Matthew 2 about the “Wise men” from the east. They saw the star and came to see the King of the Jews. Here we have some men who had traveled very far, perhaps for 2 years, just to come for the event. It is not surprising the the current “King of the Jews,” Herod, was not at all very pleased. The big surprise to me is that when he consulted all the chief priests and scribes, they knew where the Messiah was going to be born, Bethlehem. Did you know it is less than 6 miles from Jerusalem. No one else went to check it out!

These foreigners came with gifts. They had gold, a gift for kings, incense that priests used, and myrrh used in burial. A lot has been said and written about the meaning of the gifts, so I do not need to go into it here. They got it all right. And yet the priests and scribes, the guys who are supposed to know this stuff, got it all wrong. Those same groups would hound Jesus throughout His life. He was not the Messiah they wanted. They wanted a military leader, and freedom from the Romans. They wanted someone who would solve all the worldly problems.

We, too, are at risk of having the wrong expectations. We might think that we have it all figured out. We know what God is doing, and how He is going to do it. Well, what happens when things do not work out as you expect? Is He still God?

How did the wise men figure it out? They read scripture. But so did the scribes and priests. One of the big differences was the “lens” they read it through. Jewish culture had built up to a point where they had very specific expectations of a Messiah. Look back a few years to the Maccabean revolt. They wanted more of the same.

How is your past or your culture informing you about how God works? Is that right? Is it helpful? Is it a hindrance? God is a big God. He is not the God of any one person, or any one place. Be careful of expecting things from Him, that are not of Him.

The Burrito Index

I am diverting quite a bit from the Z-axis to a little X and Y today. After my last trip to Kenya I talked to quite a few missionaries regarding certain monetary things. One of the big topics of discussion was the exchange rate. I am sure it is being felt by American missionaries all around the world, but the dollar has really been in the tank. Since most missionaries are supported in dollars from the US, that means that their buying power in their country of service is severely hampered.

I took an interest in the exchange rate between the dollar and the Kenyan Shilling. The eventual outcome was my burrito index. It tracks the cost of a Java House Carne Asada Burrito in Kenyan Shillings converted into US Dollars. It should be interesting (at least for me) to watch.