A Voice in Ramah

The LA Times writes a puff piece on abortion doctors who travel to states like mine to kill the unborn.

Our Eichmanns

Our Holocaust.

Matthew 2:18 NIV

[18] “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Magi at the park

They emerged from an ordinary 

van

…wore ordinary clothes

shuffled toward me along uneven

lines

squinting, sun-struck

I realized: Magi!

come close enough for

greetings and salutations 

along the usual

Lines of dignitaries and princes-

Hands shaken; eyes met 

they said oh, it is you!

(Me?) their honored guest?

regretting I had no

Gold, frankincense, myrrh to give them

Come so far we all are 

children of the King.

Real Ghosts

Mark 6:13-16 (NIV)
They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. [14] King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” [15] Others said, “He is Elijah.” And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.” [16] But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”

These verses are about a ghost story. Herod is worried he has a ghost–John come back to haunt him.

It isn’t John, it is his cousin, but never mind that. Herod is spooked.

He deserves to be. He is a rat–adulterer, bully, pedophile. He is one of those tidy historical villains who leave little doubt of his destination.

A bad guy. But that is the irony–when he was alive he was haunted by the possibility his victim would return. When in truth he is the ghost.

John died for no good reason, but he went to heaven. Herod lived for no good reason.

And hell became his habitat.

Who is this guy?

Mark 6:14-16 (NIV)
King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” [15] Others said, “He is Elijah.” And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.” [16] But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”

Jesus was becoming a celebrity, but not by choice. He knew that his kind of renown led to crosses and blades, not black tie events.

People speculated about him. Who is this guy? Who raises the dead? Who heals our diseases? Who takes away my sin? God. Just Him.

Don’t forget it.

Celebrity Perils

Mark 1:38-45 (NIV)
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” [39] So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. [40] A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” [41] Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” [42] Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. [43] Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: [44] “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” [45] Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

Jesus came to seek and rescue people. He is a superhero, the only real one…

The guy could have been anything, done anything. He could have ruled the world. Instead he wandered the lonely hills of an agrarian outpost casting out demons?. Curing skin diseases?

Yep. He loves people so he helps us with our sadness, our loneliness, our hunger. But for him that is not enough. He came to take away our curse–death itself. He came to restore the kingdom of life.

So the strong injunctions to varies entities to shut up about his superhero identity make more sense.

He did not want us to be so blinded by his bling, his miraculous events, that we lost sight of his heart.

Jesus is in love with each of us
I am afraid not all of us get close enough to him to love him back.