19. The wise men left Herod, and followed the star all the way to Jesus.
Herod was a celebrity of his day. Even though a puppet of Rome, he was famed and favoured, heralded as a leader and head of state; presumably rich and powerful. The Christmas story is full of the opposites that humanity tries to follow and comes up short. The wise men head for Herod seeking the ‘child born to be King’ and are disappointed with what they find. In their wisdom they follow the star and in their wisdom they find a celebrity fraud; a shell of what they seek.
Later and in a similar fashion, John the Baptist asked those seeking the Christ, ‘Who/what are you looking for?’ When we seek we will find -“All the way to Jesus.”
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Insights, Observation, Reflection
Tagged celebrity, finding, fraud, Jesus, king, looking, shepherd
Monday 10 April
That feeling of emptiness, that dropping sensation in the pit of your stomach, when everything suddenly changes and what you felt was supremely positive and enlivening is overtaken by gloom and despondency. Jesus entered into Jerusalem and was hailed as a victorious king/messiah. How it must have pained him that everything was about to be reversed. Yet His face was set, Jesus knew what the highs and the lows of the next few days.
Question: What are your ‘highs’, what are your ‘lows’ at the moment?
Prayer: Lord, in this holiest of weeks help me to realise my life as I reflect on your last days. How do I mark my ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ against yours? Amen
Posted in Holy Week, Lent, Observation, Stories
Tagged april, Cross, emptiness, father, highs, holy spirit, Holy Week, hpc, huddersfield parish church, impressions from st pete's, jerusalem, jesus god, king, lows, messiah, st peter's
Readings for Palm Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-9, Philippians 2:5-115: 1-11 & Matthew 27:11-54
Monday 3rd April
It is still a long way to Good Friday but one of the prayers for next Sunday is significant.
Prayer: True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah: grant us the faith to know you and love you, that we may be found beside you on the way of the cross, which is the path of glory.
Jesus turns his face to his future and it was not the prettiest prospect. Yet the fulfilment of his life was the cross.
Question: Wonder at the way in which Jesus walked towards his end. Would our promise be to stay with him?
Posted in Lent, Observation, Reflection
Tagged face, father, good friday, holy spirit, hpc, huddersfield parish church, humble, impressions from st pete's, jesus god, king, messiah, prayer, promise, st peter's, stay, turned
Saturday 24 December
The baby was wrapped in bands of cloth an placed in a manger.
This is, of course, the same person whose body would be wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in the tomb.
As a baby and as the adult servant King helpless and dependent on others. Giving up himself to the wills of humanity. God still comes to us, emptying himself so that we might meet him.
Can we ever be as vulnerable as him?
Can we open ourselves to the will and love and life of God as he meets us this Christmas?
Almighty God, who has power beyond all that we can comprehend, you meet us in the form of a tiny baby and broken body. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to put aside all pride and so to be ready to welcome you as Mary did with open arms. Amen.
Posted in Advent, Christmas, Christmas Thoughts, Observation, Reflection, Stories, Thought for the day
Tagged advent, baby, christmas, God, god's will, helpless, holy spirit, hpc, huddersfield parish church, Jesus, king, manger, mary, Peter’s, servant, servant king, St, tomb, vunerable, wrapped