Matthew 2:1-6 (NIVUK)
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written:
6 ‘“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.”’
There’s a lot we could unpack in these verses, and Grant only touched the surface on Sunday, but I want to pick up on verse 3 today. The birth of Jesus caused a disturbance. That’s a strong word. Herod was disturbed as was all Jerusalem with him. The coming of Jesus doesn’t just affect our religious lives, the way we come together to worship, but also our political lives, how we live together as communities, nations even. Jesus affects how we see our friends, neighbours, strangers and even enemies. His coming has ramifications for the way we care for each other and disagree with each other, what and how we value each other and the principles that we consider important and those we consider unimportant.
Spirit, forgive us for the times when we’ve become complacent or settled. Disturb us again this year as we contemplate who Jesus was and the people he is calling us to be.