From the day we decorate our Christmas tree, until they day we put the ornaments away, our tree is illuminated. The lights add an unmistakable calm to the room. I have to be transparent here. My husband told me he didn’t feel like taking the tree down last year so I jokingly told him to leave it up. Well needless to say, it never found its way back to the storage area. I wondered what it would be like to keep the tree up all year just because of the peaceful ambiance it creates. The issue though is that the lights that were brand new burned out just after the new year started. It was a nice thought while it lasted. I never got as far as decorating it for every occurring holiday, but if it doesn’t leave the corner of the living room this year, that’s the only way to justify the presence of a tree in summer. I expect the tree to be dismantled, the ornaments gently stored, the lights wrapped up awaiting the next holiday season, the favorite time of the year.
Today we visit the first villain in Jesus’ life. He wasn’t even two years old before a jealous king conspired to have him killed. Do you remember this part of the Christmas story? It’s the part that, if it were a movie, you’d be on the edge of your seat angry at the plot and urging, “Don’t tell Herod you found Jesus. Don’t be stupid. Don’t go back and reveal where Jesus is living. Don’t let harm come to him.” Herod was a wicked, jealous king. He had everything but it wasn’t enough. He didn’t want any boy baby growing up and taking over his throne. Even 2000 years ago, inflated egos were at the root of insanity. Fear of losing something that wasn’t rightfully his, caused Herod to act out of vain deceit. The wise men were onto him though and when they returned home they diverted to a different path so Herod couldn’t confront them.
We know how this part of the story ends. At age two, the life of Jesus was spared for a time. We’ve learned through the past four weeks that Jesus was sent to Earth by God, his father to be the sacrificial lamb for the sins of the world. Instead of the sacrifices of animals required to pay for sin in the Old Testament, Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice. That’s the Easter story that takes place another thirty years later. Matthew 27:32-65, Mark 15
We aren’t finished with Advent readings yet, but we’re winding down. Have you thought about the real reason Jesus came to Earth? We love the Christmas story all about Faith, Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love. How does it impact your life today? What will you do with Jesus?
Today: Wise men still seek him.
Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
PEACE on Earth good will to men – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uIUDy0EZi0