A New Year – Under God’s Rule!
Epiphany – The Magi come seeking the new king. Herod urges them to seek that king so that he may ‘worship’ (kill) him. Mt wants us to think intently about Jesus as God’s Messiah, King. “God’s kingdom is arriving” – breaking in. This is God’s work. Can we participate?
New Year – We stand in the crowd listening to Jesus: “Seek first God’s kingdom, God’s rule and God’s righteousness!” Good! I want God to rule in my life. But it sounds strange.
I don’t have to seek Herod’s rule or Rome’s. They impose it. God’s kingdom comes, but it relates to me as no other kingdom. Jesus says, “Seek it.” I say, “Just tell me the rules – sacrifices, rituals, purities, things forbidden, boundaries, who’s in/out, rules of worship, rewards, punishments.” Jesus looks at the rag-tag, expectant crowd: “Sure, that’s what I’ve been doing. Love God, neighbors, enemies. No anger. No sexual dominance, Speak truth. Don’t resist evil people, but turn your cheek. Don’t show off piety. Pray simply. Give generously. Don’t judge. Give to others what you’ve been given. Don’t worry about your life!