Responding to the Message of Jesus – Reply, Reply All, Forward, Delete?

I’ve got a great trip planned out. I’m going to pick up a Pan Am flight at the airport to Denver, I always look forward to those long flights because they have two drink services, that way I can get two servings of Tab on the flight, when I land I have an Oldsmobile reserved at the airport so I can make my traditional first stop at the Woolsworth to pick up a package of Twinkies. On the way to see my parents I’ll fill up the tank at Amoco and head to the mountains. Best thing about it is that I’m earning points on my Diner’s Club card! It’ll be a great trip I wonder if I missed anything?

I asked the students during chapel about my itinerary and they only noticed one thing: Twinkies!! Their experience in the world noted only one problem with my trip, that Twinkies were no longer being made but they didn’t notice that all of the other businesses were gone as well. So few even knew those names or that they no longer existed.

There is a famous painting by the artist Tissot, it’s a visit of a legendary three visitors to a king. Perhaps you have guessed it already. Of course the number of visitors is truly unknown, 2, 3, or more but let me pose this question to you, “would we even know Herod the great if this visit were not recorded.” How do you even know about Herod ? Because of Jesus, because he was part of this message.

Imagine the message came not by wisemen or angel but instead was received in Herod’s email. Yes I did create the picture above with Herod holding an iPad and of course many of your know my reasoning. He received the message and just as when you receiving an important text message or email he had some choices about how to respond to it. This message shared the fact that a long prophecied King was coming and that the stars and Scripture both confirmed this fact.

I suspect these words rang in Herod’s mind, resonating over and over, "Another King, another King? another King!" King, can there be another king, not in Herod’s mind. So what should he do with the message?

Reply: He could reply and announce how he would prepare to celebrate the King’s coming with an invitation to the royal palace. That would be a way to respond but that would mean destroying all Herod had built, it was not the choice he made.

It was too much of a challenge to Herod, his choice was to follow his pattern in life, when a challenge reared it’s head he choose murder. If Herod perceived that one of his family members was a challenge to his power he had them killed. The message received, Herod chose his response delete. Delete the message, delete the sender, murder the Son of God, this infant born as the prophecied king.

Many of us have opened the document and read about Jesus but we have yet to determine what to do with the message. Do we just keep investigating the sender. Do we put a star by the message and promise ourselves to get to it later. Do we continue to wonder about the truth behind the message? Do we just thank God that we’ve heard the message and leave it at that?

Do we reply? "You are my king and my savior, I believe what you have done on the cross you did for me. I am free from my sins to be Your child."

Do we reply all and share the message with many people who know the message as well? Do we bring them together and work together to get the message out?

Do we forward the message from our lives to the next person? We can forward it to those with whom we work, forward it to our spouse, take it forward from ourselves to the neighbor across the street. Are we ready to do something with the message?

We probably don’t have homicide on our record like Herod but do we compare with him at all? If we leave the message in the inbox, to let it languish into obscurity as more and more other messages from the world pile up. The same effect results from a message buried deep in the obscurity of our inbox. We delete it even if we don’t press the button. We join with all of the others who have chosen to actively or passively let the life changing message go unanswered in their lives.

There is a message for Herod that we sang tonight, no matter his choice of response. We sang, "He has cast the mighty down from their thrones, and uplifted the humble of heart, He has filled the hungry with wondrous things and left the wealthy no part. Great and mighty are You, o faithful one!"

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Published in: on November 29, 2012 at 9:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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