Epiphany: A Tale of Two Kings
by Rev Jacky Quarmby 1 January 2023
This is a tale of two Kings - not three as is often supposed, but two.
On the one hand there is Jesus - the one the wise men said would be the “King of the Jews”. A baby born into an ordinary family, without power or riches or status. When he grew up, he left everything he knew - home, family, the carpentry business so that he could be with people, so that he could help people, so that he could make a difference to other peoples’ lives.
And then we have King Herod, the official King of the Jews. He lived in a magnificent palace. He had a powerful army and colluded with the Roman occupiers in order to further his own ends. He had built fortresses, prisons and cities and he had all the power and the wealth that anyone could possibly want. But despite all this he was afraid. Because the more you have, the more you have to lose.
So that when the wise men came and spoke about the birth of a new King, Herod was afraid. So afraid of losing all his power and status and riches, that he was willing to commit the ultimate act of cruelty and murder innocent children, just to ensure that that one special child would be eliminated forever.
There were two Kings. Who was the King worthy of worship … the King in the stable or the King in the palace? The wise men made their choice.
We too have to decide which King we will worship and whose values we will live by. Will we worship King Herod, by storing up riches for ourselves, trying to get our own way and looking for recognition and status? Or will we worship the King of the stable, by sharing our time and our money and being willing to put the needs of others before our own. In 2023, whose star will we follow?
Let us pray,
Loving God, beyond all time and space
We thank you that you have brought us safely to the start of a New Year.
As we begin 2023, we pray that you will give us the wisdom to see our way ahead
The courage to seize our opportunities
And the grace to consider others less fortunate than ourselves.
For we ask this in Jesus’ name.
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