While the wise men responded to the news of Jesus’ birth with joy, Herod responded with fear. While the wise men viewed Jesus as the hope of the world, Herod viewed him as a threat. While the wise men sought to worship Jesus, Herod plotted to have him killed. How do you explain the difference between the two reactions to the birth of Jesus? What do you think was so frightening to Herod? What do you think the wise men understood about Jesus’ birth that his own people didn’t?
To truly give ourselves over to Christ means that some things in our lives will be threatened – our self-dependence, our self-righteousness, or self-interest. This letting go can be painful and frightening. It involves being vulnerable enough to admit we’re not perfect, that we can’t do it on our own, and that we are not the center of the universe. But it also involves the freedom that comes with knowing that we don’t have to be perfect because we’re forgiven, loved, and inspired to become more Christ-like. It involves the freedom of knowing we don’t have to do it on our own. It involves the freedom of aligning our wants and needs with those of others.
Today, consider what it is you seek when you come to Jesus. In prayer, ask God for help in finding it or clarity if you should be seeking something else.