Reflection—v.3, ‘When King Herod heard this, he was frightened’
I wish God’s angels would have been a part of the announcement of Jesus’ birth to Herod. The angels reminded Luke’s shepherds, ‘Don’t be afraid!’ What a difference there is in these two responses to the news of Jesus’ birth. The shepherds fled from the fields on the spot and left the Christ child praising God. Fearful Herod stayed at home behind his safe, palatial walls and became more and more scared, until he lashed out to calm his anxieties and killed all the baby Jewish boys. Oh, what terrible things we will do when acting from a place of fear—like Herod we are liable to lie or to cheat to try and maintain our place of comfort, ultimately killing the possibilities for life that are before us. May we be more like Luke’s shepherds or Matthew’s wandering magi—open to the adventure of the journey, content to lay gifts at the feet of another.
Lord of Angels, may we hear of new life and run towards it. Help us not to be afraid, so that we may not hide or, worse still, strike out against it and others.