December 07, 2006

Wicked King Herod

Mary loves the baby Jesus. But then what 5-year-old girl doesn't love babies? Wherever we go, she is drawn to Nativity sets like a magnet, and immediately grabs the baby Jesus from the manger and cuddles it. Tonight we read from the "New Testament Stories" reader the story of Jesus' birth, and then continued on a bit. Apparently, Mary either didn't remember, or had never heard about King Herod's jealous rage. When I read, "King Herod was worried. The wise men said Jesus would be king. Herod did not want a new king. He wanted to be the only king. So he thought of a way to kill Jesus," Mary gasped, and grabbed my arm. Then I continued reading, "He knew Jesus was a baby. He told his soldiers to kill all the babies in Bethlehem and the places nearby. Then Jesus would be killed." Mary gasped again, more loudly, and gripped my arm tighter. She had such a horrified look on her face that I had trouble not laughing. She obviously didn't know the rest of the story, and believed that Herod's soldiers succeeded in killing the baby Jesus. It was very sweet that she was so concerned. She settled down when I told her about how an angel warned Joseph, and how they were long gone before the soldiers came. Still, this picture was pretty unsettling.

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