Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Mark 6:14-29 gives us some of the details of Herod's execution of John the Baptist. It was a grisly event, on the occasion of Herod's birthday. And we can reasonably believe, based on verses 26 and 16 that Herod was genuinely sorry. Verse 20 says that Herod was perplexed by John's testimony but that he heard it willingly. After John's death, he even thought Jesus was doing miracles in John's power.
Herod was right, though he had the characters reversed. John's powerful testimony came from the power of Jesus. Herod had been hearing the truth of God, the words of life. This was precisely what he needed to hear.
What is our attitude when we are exposed to God's word? Like Herod, we might both fear and desire it. Like Herodias we might despise it. Or maybe, by the mercy of God, we will hear it, take heed, and trust that the Lord can use it to turn our hearts toward Him.
Jesus is the Lord of life. He is still the hope of the world. May we have grace to receive him gladly, knowing he is the one who can forgive our sin and bring us with him as heirs of the resurrection.
After this post, we'll take a brief break until Monday, September 6. The lectionary readings for feasts and festivals don't always align with weekly progress all that well.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.