Thought for News Year’s Day – Friday 1st January 2021

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.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for out of you will come a ruler

who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

Matthew 2 : 1 – 8

What it would be like to be a fly on the wall at this encounter with the Magi? Herod being all nice and positive about the young Messiah when we know he just faked it because he wanted the child dead. Even his follow-on meeting with the Chief Priests is surprising because they must have known he did not have the Messiah’s best interests at heart. Why do you think they answered him truthfully, knowing he would act against the newly born Messiah?

Fear is a terrible thing. Herod was a tyrant well known for killing those who opposed him so they knew what would happen if they stood against him. We might think we would be different but probably not. No one knows what they will do when in this kind of situation until they are actually in it.

Remember though, God’s love is greater than our greatest fear. The light came into the world, the darkness tried to put it out but couldn’t. Whatever this year throws at us, it will not over come the love of God. Don’t forget that.

Prayer: Father your love is stronger even than death itself. At the start of a new year help me remember that love is greater than anything I will face this year.

Act: Remember God’s love!

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