The Chasing Herods In Our Lives
When Christ was born in Bethlehem, the Angels sang a chorus to the bewildered shepherds “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace among those whom he favors.” (Luke 2:14) But instead we know that Jesus came into a world of sinners, who continued to work against Him and His message of peace on this earth then and even now.
King Herod distinguished himself as the foremost of these sinners. As we know, he chased after this Holy Family slaughtering innocent male children in his wake simply to protect his throne. His hunt of this Holy Family caused their quick flight and exile into Egypt.
Later in his life Jesus confirmed that those "signed with His seal" the “world would hate.” Jesus knew that "Herods" will always chase His followers with one goal--“to slaughter us” simply to protect themselves.
And these demons change with the times and they never give up. These modern day Chasing Herods chase us everywhere and can appear at any time. If we don’t flee them, they can suffocate us by draining us of any hope.
In the Harry Potter novel, The Prisoner of Azkaban, Dementors roamed Azkaban prison "draining joy from the prisoners." These "Chasing Herods" types wanted the prisoners to give up and eventually perish. Modern day Chasing Herods do the same thing. They chase us like Dementors wanting us to give up on Jesus' message and simply “go away.”
Chasing Herods encourage us to be intolerant and make fun of others who are different. In fact, to protect their own interests, these Chasing Herods encourage us to see all differences as the “demons” to be avoided They even taunt us to be dishonest or unfaithful to others.
But Jesus wants us to respond as Mary and Joseph did, i.e., when these Chasing Herods appear just “take this child Jesus” and seek safety with Jesus. In this way we keep hope and joy a part of our lives.
Chasing Herods want us to believe that we are “not good” persons, or that we are “a disappointment” to those who love us. And that “others are better than we are,” suggesting that “God can’t possibly love us as much as He loves those others.” Chasing Herods want us to hear that “God blesses others’ efforts and not ours--no matter how hard we try”--for our sins are “too great” for God to take away.
When we feel the “tugs” of these Chasing Herods, we have to imitate Mary and Joseph. “Arise and take the Child Jesus in our hearts and flee.” We have to act like Joseph and Mary--allowing Jesus to protect us in ways we can’t even imagine.
Look at Mary, Jesus and Joseph’s journey to Egypt. Their flight was like fleeing into darkness. They saw no light at the end of their tunnel, yet they trusted in the Angel’s promises.
We can do the exact same thing. We have the same promises--as “Jesus was born to save us all and He came that none of us will perish.” We must not forget that Jesus said He would remain with us “for all times even until the end of time.”
Every Christmas, Jesus' birth reminds us that God is never far, even in our trials. His blessings never cease raining upon us. And knowing this, we are assured that any and all Chasing Herods can never devour us--for Jesus is and always will be our Savior.
A BLESSED AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!