Courage

Reading: Mark 6:13-29

For as sparse as Mark is he gives us the story of Herod killing The Baptist after an infamous dance. The depiction is of a pathetic man. John did what prophets do, cause trouble for those in Power. Call them to live up to their rank. Herod’s wife didn’t like it. For the sake of marital harmony Herod threw John into prison. But Mark tells us – “Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe.” Herod knew! Herod believed! But he lacked the courage. His personal peace was more important that the right actions, so that when his wife’s daughter did her dance and asked for John’s head – “the king was exceedingly sorry; but becuase of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.” Herod thought he was buying peace with his wife, daughter and guests. But the initial glimpse is not a man at peace. He took Jesus to be, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” The king in mortal terror of a wandering peasant preacher.

How many times in our lives do we know what the correct course of action is, but fail to follow it? What are the offers – peace, security, comfort? And we might get them for a short time, but usually not long. The world doesn’t make a separate peace. It doesn’t have to. It just has to separate us from our belief long enough that we lack to courage to go back. The prodigal’s journey is never an easy one. Is there anything in your life you believe to be true and holy, but you are denying or killing? Start the journey back. It starts with the Baptist’s message – repent and believe the good news!

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