Herod is a character whom we do not like, whom we instinctively judge in a negative way for his brutality. But we should ask ourselves: maybe there is something of Herod in us? Perhaps we, too, on occasion, see God as a kind of rival? Perhaps we too are blind to his signs, deaf to his words, because we think they put limits on our lives and do not allow us to dispose of our existence howsoever we will?"
~Pope Benedict XVI
The good news is that when we feel our hearts beginning to harden, when we feel like we want to rebel against God and go on our own path of pride and set our sails to ride the winds that usher in glory in our names only, we can come to God with such desires. We can come to God with humble confidence and express our concerns, our desires, our fears, our insecurities, our sins, our reservations...everything...and He listens. He will give us the peace we need.
So, let's live this day, and everyday with God sovereign over our hearts. Let's come to Him with our pride, our insecurities, our sinful desires and lay them at the foot of his throne. Let's live as the new creations in Christ that we have become. Let's find our identity in Christ and Christ alone.
Here's some verses to remind us of the beautiful truth that our hearts aren't like Herod's...but have been made new in Christ.
"... You have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (Colossians 3:9-10).
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
We thank you for Your mercy and Your grace and Your infinite patience. Thank you for being there with us in the height of our faiths when we seek nothing more than to please you. And thank you for being there when the things of this world tempt us and we get caught up in our own desires and lose sight of you. Forgive us for those times. Forgive us for the times when we neglect your laws and seek what offers us temporary pleasures. Forgive us for relying on our own capabilities more than we rely on Your direction and guidance. Forgive us for seeking our own glory above seeking Your glory.
We ask that you continually transform our hearts so that they become more and more like Jesus and less and less like Herod. May our hearts find delight in your Laws. May our hearts find joy in surrendering completely to Your will. We are creations made new through the blood of Christ, may our lives reflect that truth.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.