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Thursday
Dec 24th, 2020
Christmas According to Cranky Old Men: Herod
By: Chapman Bean
2 minute read 

Matthew 2:16 Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. (NLT)

It’s not Christmas Eve for me without a healthy marathon of Christmas movies. My friends in my office suite regularly tease me about my love for the movie Christmas with the Kranks. Luther, the main character, sits his wife down at the dinner table one evening, puts on a Hawaiian shirt, and shares with her the news that they had spent a collective $6,132 on Christmas the previous year. He comes up with this wild idea to skip Christmas! As you can imagine, the film hilariously chronicles Luther’s vain attempt to completely skip Christmas. Luther frequently becomes angry when he can’t get people to buy into his outrageous idea. In his pursuit to skip Christmas, he even goes so far as to stiff the Boy Scouts on his annual Christmas tree purchase. 

Herod and Luther were both angry men because they completely missed the point of Christmas (although Herod of course wouldn’t have called Jesus’ birth “Christmas” at the time). Luther wasn’t the maniacal man that King Herod was, but they both sure were selfish. These guys couldn’t get it through their thick heads that Christmas was not about them. God has a clear plan for us to lay our lives down so that He can lift them up. King Herod was a man who had to fight for his power from the moment Rome began giving him authority in Judea. He fought for everything and would stop at nothing to maintain the power he had amassed. 

As the Bible teaches us, Herod’s pursuit to cancel Christmas (by killing Jesus) was as vain as Luther’s attempt to skip it. We of course are not so self-consumed that we would commit genocide, nor are we trying to skip Christmas, but we very much have a propensity to make Christmas about us—the gifts, the parties, our image, etc. Friends, if I could gently remind you today… Christmas is not about you. I’m reminding myself of that, too. When we try to make much of ourselves, we make a mess of ourselves. God used a humble baby born to a humble family to bring salvation to the world. 

 

Sit quietly, and allow yourself to be still for a few moments before all of the cooking, cleaning, and last-minute Christmas chaos ensues. Pray earnestly for God to prepare your heart for our special Christmas Eve worship service and an incredible Christmas day.