One of the many popular Christmas time stories was first published by Charles Dickens in 1843. The Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his strange visitors on one Christmas Eve night. The tale begins seven years after the death of Scrooge’s business partner Jacob Marley. That night seven years later, the ghost of Jacob Marley appears before Scrooge and warns him that his soul will be bearing heavy chains for eternity if he does not change his greedy ways, and also predicts that a series of other ghosts will follow. Three Christmas ghosts visit Scrooge during the course of the night, fulfilling Marley’s prophecy. The first, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to the scenes of his boyhood and youth which stir the old skinflint’s gentle and tender side. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to the home of his nephew Fred to observe his game of “Yes and No” and to the humble dwelling of his clerk Bob Cratchit to observe his Christmas dinner. The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, harrows Scrooge with dire visions of the future if he does not learn and act upon what he has witnessed. Crippled Tiny Tim does not die as the ghost foretold and Scrooge becomes a different man as a result of this redemptive experience, treating his fellow men with kindness, generosity, and compassion, and gaining a reputation as a man who embodies the spirit of Christmas.
The idea of living in the moment but having the vision of seeing that moment from the perspective of the past, the present, and the future is not only the stuff of great story tellers, but of great stories. As Paul Harvey used to say, we all like to know “the rest of the story.” In Revelation 4, the angels that surround the throne declare the “rest of the story” of Christmas as they never stop saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” The Christ of Christmas did not come into being that morning in the stable. Rather, He is the eternal triune God, the One who was, and is, and is to come.
This Christmas Season, we approach the Christmas story through an unlikely set of eyes. We typically look at Christmas through the eyes of Mary and Joseph or through the eyes of the shepherds or the magi. While these are the main characters on the night of Christ’s birth, these were not the only witnesses to this earth shattering event of the incarnation. One of those unlikely witnesses to the full Christmas story were the kings who ruled Palestine under the family name of Herod. Herod the Great was the king during the birth narratives of Christ. His Son, Herod Antipas ruled during the life and death of Christ. And Herod Agrippa the First and Second ruled during the time of the apostles. Each of the Herods had a unique view to the Christmas story, a story that was not captured on one star lit night, but a story that lives forever.
Please join us for worship at the First Baptist Church of Benbrook this Christmas season as we look at the Christmas story through the eyes of Herod for…
“A Herodian Christmas Carol: Meeting the One Who Was, and Is, and Is to Come.”
Sunday Morning, November 29 – “Herod the Great and the One Who Was” (Matthew 2.1-18)
Sunday Morning, December 6 – “Herod Antipas and the One Who Is” (Luke 23.8-12)
Sunday Morning, December 13 – “Herod Agrippa I and the One Who Is” (Acts 12.1-25)
Sunday Morning, December 20 – “Herod Agrippa II and the One Who Is to Come” (Acts 25.13-26.32)