Peace Through Christ!

A reading for Wednesday, January 28, 2015: Mark 6:13-29.

Herod could not understand the Kingdom of God as a force of love and grace. He heard the news of healing and transformation at the hands of Jesus and the disciples, and he assumed it had to be John the Baptist back from the dead to seek revenge against the king that had executed him.

Herod only understood power and retribution, control and violence. So he operates out of that world view. It was the only way he could understand the events of his world and his life. It perhaps never even occurred to him that it could be anything but the ghost of John haunting him, and threatening his position of power. He didn't believe love or mercy was an option.

There are still "Herods" today. There are still those in our world who only know control and violence. Like bullies on the playground, they push others around with threats and punishment for any that don't comply with the way they want things to be.

Our challenge is not to play their game. That's what they want us to do. A bully can't be a bully if people aren't afraid of them. We must not answer the "Herods" of our world by fighting back with our own version of violence and revenge, but instead we make our stand with love and grace, mercy and freedom.

Notice Jesus did not answer Herod's tragic violence with more violence. Even though he was broken hearted at the death of John, our Lord did not storm the palace and demand that Herod be held slain in the same way as John. Instead, Jesus continued the message of the Kingdom of God knowing that this is how the world is truly transformed and the forces of power are truly defeated.

Truth is it's easier to answer violence with more violence. Blood for blood. Peace through strength. That's the way of Herod. It's the way of the world.

The harder path is the way of Jesus Christ... trust in God for the salvation of the world. The blood of Jesus. Peace through Christ!


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