( Last week, I had trouble with my Gmail. I think, and hope ) it is fixed )
Good afternoon,When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Matthew 2:16
This is not an image that we often talk about at Christmas. We like the pastoral idyllic picture of the manger scene. But, Herod is part of the Empire, and carries out the mandate of peace for Caesar with an iron hammer. There are different Herods in the New Testament, but they are there at places of violence, like John the Baptist’s death and the hanging of Jesus on the cross.
Our two grandsons are into all things Star Wars this year. They have watched the movies, and have some Lego sets of the characters. They love lightsabers . They love their Uncle Jared because he has the huge Lego sets of the various ships that are from the film series. As they were putting together their manger scene in Winnipeg, Darth Vader made it into the ancient story. Darth Vader is the evil leader of the Empire in the original Star Wars movie . He is HEROD. Check out Vader in the left corner of the manger scene of 2020.
Grant us grace not to be like Herod ( or Vader ),
Give us the power to not give over to violence and power of the evil
Grant us the grace to tell the powerof the baby in the manger,
to live humble,
as we carry the baby story into the Year 2021.