Monday, January 04, 2021

Herod Will Never Be "Great Again"

An intriguing parallel to the current political machinations of the USA is found in the familiar Christmastide story of the Magi in Matthew 2:1-15. 

The legendary crew of the Wisemen (and the necessary entourage likely surrounding them) arrives in Jerusalem in their eager pursuit of seeing the baby born as “King of the Jews”.  All they have to go on is a mysterious star in the night sky and that mystic ideal in and of itself describes their sweet naivety.


So in that naive mindset, they accept an invitation to King Herod for further directions and information about that King of the Jews, who we know is Jesus. Herod was so troubled by the rumors of why these far east visitors had arrived in Jerusalem that he tapped into the wisdom of local religious scholars for where a new King of the Jews would be born. 


“Bethlehem, Land of Judah…” they announced, and thus Herod passed along this borrowed spiritual revelation, no doubt hoping to sound like a fellow pilgrim…especially when he feigned, “…when you have found him, report to me, that I too may come and worship him.” 


We all know the rest of the story; the Magi find the Baby, they worship Him, and they are warned by God in a dream (once again underscoring their delightful naivety) to flee the fraud, King Herod ~ “The Great”. Herod (the Great!) is so embarrassingly insecure about these goings on, that he orders baby boys under the age of 2 from Bethlehem killed in order to cling to his power. 


Fast forward to America 2021; our own version of Herod (The Great) is currently clinging to power by any and all means. Feigning spiritual connection, our modern Herod has rubbed some shoulders of religious groups enough to be able to parrot a few Bible verses…and not coincidently, we are seeing generation affected by this fiasco who are being alienated by the deadly marriage of politics and religious faith.  


A certain picture of failing authority is the scratching and clawing to maintain it at the mere mention of something better on the horizon. On the other side of this magnificent tale, a sure sign of royal greatness is in the vision of a relaxed baby protected by transcendent majesties…without a care in the world. 


A dream similar to that which came to the Magi warning them “not to return to Herod” is coming soon to spiritual theaters of the mind all across our nation. Eager, mystical, and even naive spiritual pilgrims will become the stuff of legendary stories because they saw through the fakery of an emotionally weak King and listened rather to dreams of a better way… 


Herod and all his line of Herod successors have fallen. Herod will never be “Great Again”. When Jesus was offered all the geopolitical power He could ever dream of, He waved off the Satan with the simplicity of a naive commitment to worship God alone (Luke 4:6,7) 


It’s time for the rise of another troop of simple, star-gazing worshippers wise enough to flee the trappings of scheming politicians.