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Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Fear

 Matthew 14: 6-13

“6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted” 

I used to work for a person that was angry from the moment he walked into the office until he left.  During my time there, I had the opportunity to talk with him at length on several separate occasions.  I discovered, through these conversations, that he was very insecure in his job, and feared that people would find out that he didn’t know as much as he should.  He feared that one day he would walk into the office and be fired.  His fears were the source of his anger.

Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great.   He was a tyrant in the mold of his father and was used to getting his way.  His fears were the source of his tyrannical behavior.  

He was afraid of John the Baptist and what John was preaching.  He feared the people that he ruled.  He was even afraid of what his party guests would think of him if he went back on his oath that he swore to give Herodias’ (his wife’s) daughter whatever she wanted presumably so that she would sleep with him.  

Fear can push us into wrong actions or freeze us into inaction. Fear is the root of our prejudices and our anger.  Our fears can interfere with our relationship with God and with other people.  God clearly asks all of us to overcome our fears.  

A line from the hymn, Because He Lives, describes how our life with Christ should be: 

“Because he lives, all fear is gone.” (UMH #364)

Let it be so.

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)

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