Reflection on the New Year
In my sermon this year on the story of the Magi, Herod, and the holy family’s escape to Egypt, my reflection landed on the relationship between the Magi and King Herod. It’s odd that the Christmas star didn’t lead the Magi directly to the Christ-child. They had to stop in Jerusalem and check in with King Herod, ultimately endangering the lives of many children.
In telling the story this way, the text draws out a comparison between these foreign priests and King Herod. The priests were open to God’s leading, which is contrasted with Herod, a man who should’ve been faithful, but was instead a dangerous adversary. The stranger did a better job of following God than the one who was familiar with the prophetic stories surrounding the Messiah. The challenge from the text seemed to be about a question of faithfulness. Am I taking what is familiar for granted? Will God raise up a stranger to do what needs to be done to grow his Kingdom, or will my heart be in the right place, ready to serve?
As we enter into a new year, may our hearts be ready to respond to God’s call as we continue with our Kingdom work.
Rev. Jenni Bales
Director of Communications