Hi everyone and welcome to Wednesday’s Podcast at STC. This week’s Podcasts are about ‘beginnings’ and today we continue our reflections in Matthew’s gospel – a very challenging reading, Matthew 2:13-23, and you can hear this read after the prayer.
In this harrowing story we see a furious King Herod when he realised that he had been outwitted by the Magi – he then gave the almost unimaginable order to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and surrounding area who were two years old and under. It is almost beyond belief this happened – but it did. I have read this passage many times but am still shocked by it. Herod was insecure and hard-hearted and this became an open door for evil to be released in his life. The heart of the problem here is the problem of the human heart.
Today’s world needs a revolution. Not an aggressive one, not a violent one; we need a revolution of love that changes hearts and minds. As Christians, this is what we believe; this is why Jesus came. This revolution of love is our calling – the world is ready for this Godly revolution.
Jesus didn’t come to earth just to change our Sunday church services, although they do need changing – church services can be so boring! He came to change our lives – that our lives would reflect his life.. The power of change is for every one of us, not just church leaders and the super spiritual! When we are changed we become his change agents in his world.
Christians should be revolutionaries. Our faith starts with a change of mind and a change of direction – living Gods way and going where he leads. We are new creations; old things have passed away and new things have come (2 Cor. 5:17).
The gospel is all about transformation—change. We should be the ones bringing a revolution of heart to the world through our words and actions – in our homes, workplaces, schools etc. Instead, we seem to spend our time debating theological stances than have no relevance to people dealing with the challenges of life.
The truth is that more of the same thinking will only produce more of the same activity or inactivity in the church! Here at STC we know it’s ‘time to change’ – the theme of our recent Welcome Back Sunday and our Staff Team day. The heart of the problem is the problem of the human heart. Change is here to stay as the old saying goes and change always begins with me!
King Herod had a major identity crisis. He is portrayed as someone who professed a spiritual life but had absolutely no moral life! However, we have unrealistic expectations if we start imposing morality without spirituality in a world that desires spirituality without morality. Influence without responsibility. But God is on the move!
Revolution means abandoning the status quo in favour of a better future Godly future – the status quo has put us where we are now. It requires that we not only turn away from something but also turn toward something else. The Bible often speaks of this action. It uses language such as “repent and believe” or “put off the old and put on the new.” Today, where do we – where do I – need to repent – to turn back to Jesus and receive his grace afresh? Today where do I need to start afresh? Today, where is Jesus wanting to change my heart?
Today’s reading is indeed sobering – it is a graphic depiction of the truth that the heart of the problem is the problem of the human heart. True change happens in our hearts and minds. There is indeed only one thing that can bring true change to this world, and that is Jesus.
Lord, let your love overcome the darkness – change me this day that I may in some small way bring your love and kindness to those I meet.Amen
READING: Matthew 2:13-23
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’
When Herod realised 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. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
‘A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.’
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.’
So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.