Friday, March 25, 2011

His head on a platter

Mark 6:14-29
Herod was in awe of John. Convinced that he was a holy man, he gave him special treatment. Whenever he listened to him he was miserable with guilt—and yet he couldn't stay away. Something in John kept pulling him back...
...Unwilling to lose face with his guests, he caved in and let her have her wish. The king sent the executioner off to the prison with orders to bring back John's head.

The story turns back to John the Baptist, demonstrating that loving God is not about getting the life you always wanted, but losing your life. Sometimes, God causes miracles and saves lives. Sometime, inexplicably, almost randomly, evil prevails (see Acts 12). It makes it difficult to believe in God's goodness. Makes you think twice about telling the truth about God's holiness, as that was what John did that cost him his head.

And yet, Father, although I may never lose my head for serving You, I have lost other things, maybe lessor things, but loss just as well. And I hold them up beside You and they are not worthy of my days. Your beauty, siding with Your party was so much sweeter than anything else I could have ever had or done.

But back to Herod. In contrast, he did not have the courage, the humility, whatever it takes to say yes to You. He knew!! He knew what John said was true. And yet, he could not leave the depth of his sin to come to You. He continued to wallow in the mire of it. What a sad, sad man.

And yet, at the time, I am sure as the disciples of John carried his body off to bury him with dignity, they must have wondered about it with deeply broken hearts. Was it worth it? Is God really good?

There are times in our lives where we all wrestle with these things. When I think of people, good people who I loved dearly, who died young, I wonder about Your purpose, Father. But in the end, You are beautiful and true and there is no where else to go. Whatever it takes, whatever I lose, I choose You!
I choose You!

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