Kiingi Herod Professes Faith in Christ
Christmas Quipper 3
“Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” King Herod.
It’s a big deal when State Representatives visit other countries. So it was only appropriate the magisterial Magi popped in for a cuppa with Kiingi Herod, te mauri o te motu, as Herod would like to believe. He had dodged bullets hard-out and manoeuvred alliances to keep himself as the Royal (with) Cheese of Israel. But here were our Camel-trotting astrologers rocking up to Herod loaded with riches for a King-Kid born somewhere under a starry sky. Herod’s political pride was twitching under the news his position could be in jeopardy.
Let’s take note of what came out of that political pie-hole: “As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” And all the Christian’s praised Herod for his expressed confession and reverence for God ;-)
Now we know that Herod was talking with a forked-tongue. But at the time, the listeners didn’t. It all sounded like Herod’s Hebrew whakapapa was coming to life in him, calling him into a hopeful messianic frame. But no, he was lying his murderous arse off. The original Christmas challenges us to think critically about political rhetoric that aligns itself with prissy religious expectations. I mean, check out the speech from an Austrian born, German leader with a funny short moustache:
“I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity … We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit... we want to burn out the poison of immorality…” (1)
Many Christians of his country praised him. Ugh. The vulnerable birth of Christ in a backwashed stable is a challenge to power. Power will use religion as a motive to rule and control and dominate. So this Christmas, don’t think that because you’ve got more money to buy stuff and stuff your face, is a sign of God’s blessing working in our leaders - whoever he or she may be - demand our leaders to act justly and to walk humbly, knowing that true power is human vulnerability as modelled by the Creator.
Rire rire hau, Pai Marire.
(1) The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872