Psalm 148 (call to worship)
Hebrews 2:10-18 (children)
Matthew 2:13-23 (message)
Why is the baby Jesus such a threat? Isn’t the kingdom of God a spiritual thing? Perhaps Herod recognizes something about Jesus that we miss.
For the great and powerful of this world, there are only two places in which their courage fails them, of which they are afraid deep down in their souls, from which they shy away. These are the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ. No powerful person dares to approach the manger, and this even includes King Herod. For this is where thrones shake, the mighty fall, the prominent perish, because God is with the lowly. Here the rich come to nothing, because God is with the poor and hungry, but the rich and satisfied he sends away empty. Before Mary, the maid, before the manger of Christ, before God in lowliness, the powerful come to naught; they have no right, no hope; they are judged.Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is In the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, found online at http://www.qideas.org/
Why did the innocent have to die?
A power-hungry king, yes. But that answer is unsatisfactory, especially when combined with prophecy: So, if God could rescue Jesus, then why not everyone? And, I don’t really care how impractical the suggestion is, I still want everyone to be saved.