"In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem asking, 'Where is the child who has been born King of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.' When King Herod heard this, he was frightened..."
Today is "LEON Day" (Noel spelled backwards) - exactly 6 months from and 6 months before Christmas. How appropriate we get a portion of Matthew's birth narrative to read - the coming of the magi.
The person most affected by the wise men's journey is King Herod. He's built up a nice little kingdom here on the outskirts of the Holy Roman Empire. He's been granted rule by the Emperor, and doesn't want anything (or anyone) to spoil it. Thus, when the magi come speaking of a new king, Herod gets worried. Really worried! (This worry will eventually lead to the slaughter of numerous innocent boys under the age of two in Bethlehem. Ugh.)
As I was reading this today, a voice inside my heart asked if I was truly welcoming of the kingship of Jesus... or if I had fashioned a kingdom or two in my own heart that was afraid to be let go of? Illusions of power, control, self-sufficiency? The grippings of consumerism, the drive toward wealth & affluence? The temptations of lust, self-aggrandizement, and an over-bearing feeling that I'm more important that I actually am? Lord have mercy.
I cannot allow whatever "kingdoms" I may have accumulated to get in the way of the Lordship of Jesus. In the words of John the Baptist, "He must increase and I must decrease" (John 3:30). Sometime's that's easier said than done. Maybe on this "Leon Day," if I had one wish... it would be for the kingship of Christ to fully envelop me. So be it. AMEN.