July 11

Mark 6:21-29

“The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her.” vs. 26

Those who operate without a moral compass often make decisions with far-reaching effects for the flimsiest of reasons. Herod makes a foolish promise to the step-daughter who has entertained him and his presumably well-lubricated guests. The girl’s mother seizes on the opportunity to rid herself of a well-hated nemesis–and John the Baptizer loses his head. Herod’s stated regard for his oaths and his guests is pure theater and indicates a complete lack of principle and values, even when accompanied by crocodile tears. He would rather plunge his country into war than lose face! Of course he wasn’t the first such fool, and he obviously hasn’t been the last. Millions of people have lost their lives in senseless wars at the whim of heartless sovereigns who stand on the sidelines, relishing their luxury while their subjects perish. Such is the way of empires everywhere! What a contrast Jesus presents as he comes announcing the coming Reign of God! And what joy it brings to see signs of that power popping up across the land! How blessed it is when Christ-centered people of all faiths lead the way in establishing pockets of peace and justice where the hurting of this world can be embraced by the sacrificial love of God! And praise God for those prophets who, like John, stand with the poor and the broken, and who gladly take every opportunity to speak truth to power.

Thought for the Day: What can happen when truth is spoken to power?

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