In the Charles Schultz cartoon Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, Sally asks Charlie Brown to write out her Christmas list. She asks Santa for an itemized list and says if he can’t come through then just $10’s and $20’s would suffice. She says, “all I want is my fair share,all I want is what I have coming to me.” Through this little scene Schultz offers a great commentary on what our expectations are during this season. We all expect to receive our fair share. We feel we are owed something.
We all have expectations of how we feel should be treated and what we deserve. We are told repeatedly that we should expect only the best from companies, schools and organizations.
I am wondering how our expectations impact our communities. How do the expectations we have on our families, impact how our families interact, communicate and approach one another? How do the expectations we have on our congregations impact the way we worship, serve and give? How do the expectations we have on our schools and local government impact how our teachers teach and elected officials govern? What responsibility do we have for the expectations we place on all of these entities, and how do we measure if our expectations are reasonable?
Jesus had expectations of his community. He expected his disciples to get up and follow him, and go out and make other disciples. He expected them to take very little with them and want very little in return. Was this a fair expectation?
He expected the Chief Priests, Scribes and Pharisees to change their ways, to be less selfish, to sit with the sick and poor. He expected them to take responsibility for their position of power. Was this a fair expectation?
Never mind the expectations on Mary and Joseph!
If we want our communities, family, church, or places of work etc. to be viable, healthy places we have to examine two issues – 1. What do I expect of myself as part of this community? 2. What do I expect from others? And then ask if those expectations are reasonable.
And if our expectations are reasonable then we must be certain they covered in grace. If our expectations are not surrounded in grace, then our expectations become greed.
Thanks for reading. Peace.