In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him
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The news of a child born evokes fear from Herod. The news of a child born evokes fear in "all Jerusalem." Wait...what? A grown man in a position of power threatened by a baby? A city full of people most of whom were taught to look forward to the coming of the Promised One are now frightened by the news of the Promised One's arrival? Love and fear. In the words of the great "theologian" John Lennon, the two basic motivators are love and fear. When we are afraid, we pull back from what life has to offer. When we love, we are open to what life has to offer - passion, excitement, acceptance. We enter together into this new year with the same choices of love and fear. Do we lean into the life promised to us by Christ or do we dig our heels in the dirt and look for the exits? Granted, there are some circumstances in which digging in the dirt is a good plan, but walking by faith and a world in need of love requires a new courage. That is what I pray for us all in this new year! Courage to love!
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Grant us the courage, Lord, to love through our fear. Amen.