Friday, December 6, 2013

Thrones and Tombs

Matthew 2:3
"When King Herod heard this he was disturbed"

Substitute teachers were always the best.  And if they were particularly naïve(read our favorites) they didn't make you do much work and fill the period with a rousing game of Heads up 7 up.  We all knew it was temporary.  How odd would it be if they didn't make us do the work the teacher assigned and spent the whole time bad mouthing the absent teacher?  And, upon the regular teachers return they tried to lead a student coup to put them in permanent charge of the class?  That would be a substitute teacher that would be permanently out of a teaching job. 

King Herod wasn't even a real king.  He was allowed to rule whatever it was he did rule by the beneficence of Rome.  They could easily dispose him if they decided they didn't like the job he was doing. 

When the Magi come and tell him about the new born king, Herod responded by becoming disturbed.  He knew deep inside that his claim to power was shaky at best.  What if there really was some new player on the political scene that the notoriously rebellious Jews would follow?  Perhaps Rome would just give him Herod's palace to keep things on an even keel.

Guess what?  That's you.  There is a throne in your life.  And, you are sitting on it.  In your own little kingdom you are absolute ruler.  Though, in actuality, you really don't have that much power.  But at least in your little corner of the world, its all yours.

Over 2000 years ago the star appeared declaring that the King of Kings had arrived.  And just like Herod, we are disturbed.

Disturbed because Jesus makes a claim of authority upon our hearts.

Disturbed because if He really is who He claims to be, then our power really was no power at all.

Disturbed because so much of what we have been up to is not going to jive with this King.

We have been usurpers to a throne that is not ours.  We have built up our kingdoms, and constructed our walls.  But, like Herod, it is all paper. 

But there is another way to see this.  What if instead of sitting on His throne, we have been anticipating His return?  Joyfully?  When our hearts begun to long for the real King of our lives, it is a celebration of freedom when He returns. 

Have you ever babysat?  It can be fun, especially before you have kids.  But isn't it a relief when the brats parents come home?!?!  While you might have played some fun games, and the kids might have really made you smile, you are glad that the real parents are there to take over and you can finally kick back.

That throne that is sitting in your heart can function in two ways.  And only two ways.  It can be the throne that we gladly hand over to its rightful owner.  Or, it becomes a tomb that imprisons us.

See, this is the thing about being your own King.  In pursuit of freedom, your freedoms to make choices begin to diminish.  When Christ leads us, true freedom opens up expansively before us.  No longer entrapped by choices, sins, mistakes, the exhaustion of being "in charge".  When He sits on His throne, we can become exactly what we are made to be.

I do not know what you are made to be.  But I do know what you are not made to be.  King.  As long as you are king, you cannot be anything else.
This kinda sums it up;  Jesus doesn't coexist, He is the King.  Also, this stuff is funny.  Click it.

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