Happy New Year!
Many in the US have been busily ‘packing up Christmas’ today. You, too? 🙂 The familiar site of storage boxes, lights, stockings, garland strewn and vacuums running madly, all highlight our sense of nostalgia at the retirement of yet another Christmas holiday season and the simultaneous welcome of a new year.
Many have dismantled the Nativity Set – the official memorial of the holy holiday’s raw and real inception. Whether Playmobil, plywood or Porcelain…we all reflect tenderly as we gingerly retire the tiny baby Jesus, the manger filled with hay and the obligatory cast of characters found in the barn that historic night…Mary, Joseph, the humble shepherds, the singing angel, the barn animals and in some instances the three Wisemen, dressed to the nines, (although an historically accurate depiction would place the Magi visiting the youngster Jesus later on history’s timeline, not in the barn) which led me to recall how one vital character has been left out of the traditional cast over time, but whose significance bears intentional pause and reflection….
I speak of King Herod the Great, a main player in the biblical account of the Christmas story, visited by the three Wisemen who sought the Christ Child after his birth in the stable.
Herod tried to trick the Magi into revealing the child’s location in Bethlehem on their way home from their sojourn to worship the newborn king, but they were warned in a dream to avoid Herod, so they returned to their countries by another route.
King Herod, furious at being foiled by the esteemed wise men in his attempt to find this promised child wrapped in rags whom Mary, a mere peasant girl had borne, did the unthinkable. He ordered the slaughter of all male children under the age of two in Bethlehem and its vicinity.
(Matthew 2:1-18 paraphrase)
This evil, insecure king, this biblical terrorist, longed to snuff out the infant king Jesus before he had time to grow and become, rule and reign to save the world. And this my friends, is a principle of note.
Destiny is always under attack.
Wherever you find Destiny, you find a Herod, intent on annihilation.
For as many as awaited the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord, what makes some people happy makes other people rage.
This is where it hits home. Because YOU, no matter how you may feel on this first day of 2018, are not an insignificant nobody, born only to eat, sleep, work, watch Netflix, pay taxes and die.
You are a precious creation, a living breathing miracle, uniquely gifted, specifically wired, born to have an impact, born to make a difference in history’s timeline.
Destiny is over your head and as you square off with a brand new calendar year, remember that Destiny is always challenged, resisted, attacked even, so don’t be easily discouraged in your efforts to pursue your dreams and fulfill the vision you have for your life and the lives of those precious to you. Gird yourself for battle. You may reflect with pain upon the past, but change is possible in the new year!
An angel again appeared to Jesus’ stepfather, Joseph, in a dream, warning him to flee to Egypt with his young family to escape Herod’s intentions. (Matthew 2:13 paraphrase)
Another principle of note.
God watches over destiny.
[Sidenote: We might even consider placing King Herod in the shadows next year, watching over the Nativity from a distance through slanted eyes with black heart, just to remind us of the power of destiny.]
I’m passionate about the destiny factor in our lives and the lives of those precious to us, and I look forward to the privilege of encouraging you as you journey into 2018. Thank you for reading, and if you enjoy my posts, consider subscribing so as not to miss out – as a thank you, for a limited time, you’ll receive my two free e-books!