Matthew 2:3-8 (CEV)
3 When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. 4 Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?”
5 They told him, “He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote,
6 ’Bethlehem in the land
you are very important
among the towns of Judea.
From your town
will come a leader,
who will be like a shepherd
for my people Israel.’”
7 Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. 8 He told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too.”
A threat to my power? By someone who might actually know something? A real king? With God on his side? Now I am worried.
I’ve always worried that I’d be found out. That this precarious little kingdom I’ve built for myself would be brought down. This cannot happen. I’ve got to get on to this – now, before it gets out of hand. He will have to go. I don’t care what pain or distress I cause – after all, the end will justify the means.
This passage always reminds me of this scene from The Lion King, where Scar is adamant the king will be killed – so that he can be king, rising entirely from his jealousy.
This King must go – Herod’s thoughts entirely!
When we feel frightened or threatened we can make some really stupid choices. Sometimes those choices have huge repercussions – for ourselves and for those innocently caught up.
I try so hard,
to do the right thing,
for the best;
I am coming from the wrong place,
looking after me,
acting from fear,
Sometimes I get things spectacularly wrong,
even with the best of intentions,
and others get caught up
in the results of my decisions.
Forgive me Lord
my wrong decisions,
my stupid choices,
my misguided actions.
I pray for wisdom
and a clear sense of your way forward.
Help me to deal with my emotions,
so that I am not responding from the wrong place;
to live in confidence of you.
Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent. Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page