Greetings dear friends!
Our Gospel reading for this week comes from Matthew chapter 2. It is the journey, experience and enlightenment of the three Wisemen. For reference, I encourage you to re-read Matthew 2:1-12.
I'd like to focus on King Herod, upon the Wisemen's inquiry regarding the birth of the King of the Jews, the Messiah, Herod becomes 'frightened'. Frightened of losing his position of privilege, frightened that this new King might be more powerful than he, in the earthly (i.e. naive) understanding of power.
The summer between my junior and senior year of college I lived in Bethlehem and interned at a non-profit. Just outside of the city, Herod built a man made mountain, that still exists, because he wanted to be topographically higher than Bethlehem, the city where the Christ child, the Messiah, was born. Herod believed this to be an appropriate, useful, aesthetically-logical expression that he was more powerful than a baby.
I was reminded of dear Herod as I watched the events of yesterday unfold. As yet more people expressed such a naive and elementary understanding of what 'power' is and how it should be used and expressed.
At the end of the text this week, the Wisemen disregard Herod's request for them to return and tell him about their experience in Bethlehem. The Wisemen's world's are turned upside down in a most modest stable, through a most modest infant. Their understanding of power turned on it's head.
The Wisemen, and we ourselves, learn that power is not about the things we have, the titles we hold, where we live or who we know, to be wielded over and against others. Power and influence are a responsibility each one of us carry to love, to better, to serve ALL people.
Sending my love to you all.