Which Ruler Is Getting Seat Time On Your Heart's Throne?
Yesterday evening was the one sliver of time I had to finally put away all of the Christmas decorations--preparing them for a year's storage in all of their various Christmas decoration boxes.
I couldn't wait to be done with that task last night. I think I found some buried and forgotten reserve of energy to keep packing and cleaning far into the night, until every last evidence of Christmas was wrapped, packed and out of sight.
This morning, groggy and nursing some seriously black and strong coffee, I have been gazing at all of the bins and boxes standing sentinel in the hall, waiting to be carried to the garage. Not that long ago, I opened all of those Christmas decoration boxes with joy and anticipation, and now I can't wait to see them stored away.
I couldn't help but reflect on how, in much the same way, we often run hot and cold when it comes to our relationship with Jesus--depending on what we seem to think we need at the time.
This morning, I read the account in Matthew chapter 2 of the Holy Family's flight to Egypt, which is followed by a terrible story of an atrocity committed by the paranoid and homicidal king Herod.
This part of the story picks up after the Magi had left Mary, Joseph and Jesus, and returned to their homeland without letting Herod know where the child was. Jesus (earthly) father Joseph had a dream afterward where an angel told him that Herod was going to try to "search for the child to kill him," and that they needed to flee to Egypt.
When Herod found out that he'd been tricked by the Magi, he was furious and ordered that all baby boys two years old and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity were to be killed. This "text of terror" is commonly known as The Slaughter of the Innocents, and it stands testament to how far Herod was willing to go to ensure he had no rivals.
After I read this passage, I got to thinking about all of the ways I try so hard at times to erase or bury every recognition of the reign of Jesus over my life. It typically happens when I have selfish desires for myself and I don't want to be reminded that there is just one true king to sit on the throne in my heart.
I long for my desires to be in line with Christ's. I long to have the humility and strength to die to my self, so that Christ can be raised up within me. I want to be the kind of Jesus-follower that doesn't struggle for seat time on the throne with the King of my life. And I long for grace when I don't.
And I have a suspicion that so many of you do, too. So, may you find the humility and the strength every day to give up your desire to rule your own life. May you discover anew the joy of not being in charge. May you recognize the true King of your life and gratefully surrender your heart to Him.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.