Here is a second post from blog member and blog volunteer Glenn Siepert. Lucky us, it includes an extract from his new book. Enjoy!
Our Inner Herod
In my last post I shared the background of my book, Emerging From the Rubble and over the next couple of posts I want to share some excerpts with you so as to give you a taste of what to expect in the book.
There are 30 chapters that explore 30 stories from Matthew’s Gospel and each chapter ends with a couple of reflection questions to get you thinking about how the story might encourage you or challenge you as you face your own modern day Temple collapse.
Here’s chapter 4 of the book, “Our Inner Herod” – a reflection on Matthew 2:1-12.
Herod was pretty ticked off, right? He was a man of unbelievable power and (in his mind) no one was ever going to replace him.
He was the man.
He was the myth.
He was the legend.
… King Herod the Great, the One and the Only, the Wonderful and Magnificent – the Eternal One.
And so when he got wind that a baby was born who was prophesied to be King. Well. Let’s just say that his insides shook with rage as he calmly gritted his teeth and asked, “where can I find this … baby?”
Matthew tells us that not only was Herod frightened, but “all of Jerusalem with him.” Why? Because “all of Jerusalem” knew that Herod wasn’t going to hand over his throne to an army of soldiers much less a baby and that he would take any necessary measure to protect his power.
Herod’s obsession with power and his centralized preoccupation with his own position of greatness prevented him from seeing God being birthed in his midst.
And so I wonder if that’s why Matthew included this story in his Gospel to the Jewish Christians in Antioch, the ones who recently saw the powerful center of their universe (the Temple) ground into dust before their eyes? Because I wonder if Matthew knew that those Christians were in danger of (just like Herod) becoming so preoccupied with …
The loss of their power.
The loss of their universe.
The loss of their center.
… That they would miss the ways that God was being birthed in the midst of their disaster?
In his book Heart and Mind, Alexander John Shaia says that “the word ‘disaster’ literally means ‘dis-star’ – to be separated from one’s inner guidance.”
Perhaps the Jewish Christians, then, were in danger of being separated from …
Their inner star.
Their inner wisdom.
Their inner and innate ability to see the movement of God in their midst.
Because (perhaps) they were caught up in the disastrous loss that that they found themselves in – the LOSS of their Temple, the LOSS of the leaders, the LOSS of their city, the LOSS of relationships.
In other words, maybe Matthew knew that they were in danger of missing the ways in which Jesus or the Divine or Hope or Newness or Love or WHATEVER was being birthed in their midst because they were so focused on how their universe was being destroyed before their very eyes.
When Disaster Strikes
I think Matthew would pose the same story to us, don’t you?
I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to become so focused on the problems and so focused on what I feel is being taken FROM me that I am almost oblivious to what is being given TO me and the fresh ways that my …
… disaster is allowing the Divine to be birthed in my midst in fresh, radiant, and unexpected ways.
More often than not, when disaster strikes my inner Herod rises up and tries to white-knuckle what it feels like it’s losing … a scenario that inevitably causes me to become separated from my inner star or my inner wisdom, the piece of my soul that is fine-tuned to the voice of God.
And the moment I become separated from that part of myself?
I feel alone.
I feel afraid.
I feel hopeless.
… And I feel like nothing good could possibly come from all that has been (or could be) lost.
Disaster causes me to lose sight of my inner star; and so much like Matthew’s readers, I need to read a tragic story like King Herod’s so I can be reminded that when I become preoccupied with all that I feel like I’m losing and focus my eyes on the smoking rubble of my collapsed universe, I may very well find myself in danger of losing touch with my inner wisdom and missing the fresh ways that the Divine is being birthed in my midst.
Friend – God is being birthed in our midst every day …
… and although the losses we experience may be great and although it may be painful and horrendous and unspeakable to see the centers of our universes ground into dust before our eyes, those losses will never be able to abort the presence of the Divine.
That’s the point, I think, and the thing I want to leave you with: (once again) you don’t sit in the rubble of your crumbled universe by yourself. It may be hard to see or recognize or feel, but know this: God is birthing herself through your circumstances in ways you never imagined possible, not with a promise that everything will be OK and you will never hurt again, BUT so that you will never ever have to navigate the uncertainty of tomorrow by yourself.
Hang in there, my friend.
- What is your inner Herod afraid of losing?
- How does your inner Herod’s fear of losing your answer to number 1 cause you to lose sight of your inner star?
CONNECT WITH ME:
Emerging From the Rubble: https://www.amazon.com/Emerging-Rubble-Stories-Shattered-Relationships/dp/B0C7T5TJD4/ref=sr_1_1?crid=17S7I6ZHPHNKL&keywords=emerging+from+the+rubble&qid=1687121837&sprefix=%2Caps%2C231&sr=8-1
What If Project: https://www.whatifproject.net
Email (I will answer!): [email protected]
 Page 88
 Sometimes I refer to God as “him” and sometimes “her” AND sometimes even “they”. Heretical? Throw me to the fires, I guess; but just as Jesus compared God to a WOMAN who lost her coin and a MAN who lost his son and a MOTHER HEN who was gathering her chicks … I believe in a God who is genderless and can take on whatever form we might need in the moment – sometimes a mother, sometimes a father, sometimes nothing other than a presence of comfort and love.
 Because, honestly – it may NOT be OK for a long time and you may HURT for a long time. Sometimes life flat out sucks and the losses we experience can make it so for weeks, months, and years.
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