Main Text: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 (Isaiah 43:1-9; Acts 8:14-17)

The Gospel of Luke says that when all were coming out to see John, they were filled with expectation. They were wondering if John was the Messiah. John was clear that he was not the Messiah. He did not answer their quest by pointing to himself. Instead, he pointed that expectation forward toward the only one capable of not only meeting their expectations but exceeding it beyond anything they could imagine. We also are filled with expectation in this time of transition. As John pointed beyond himself to the one who was present but not yet revealed, we also are called to look beyond ourselves to the one already present in the Word and the Sacrament. As the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to those gathered at the river, may we also in this time listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit revealing Jesus presence. May his abiding presence lead us into a future beyond our expectations. Our search is not just for the next pastor. Our search is for the next pastor, who like John, will point this community toward the one who is even greater. May we be filled with that expectation only fulfilled in the Lord!