Posts Tagged ‘Herod’


Image result for palm crosses

Yesterday our neighbours to the South, and many in Canada #Marchforourlives to end gun violence. Watching the feeds it was inspirational, and shattering, and yes I hope these young people carry through on voting in their countries to shake up both the USA and Canada’s false 2 party system and show true change for citizens.

But it got me reflecting even deeper, for today is Palm Sunday. A day that those who dive deeply into the Liberation/Social Gospel/Progressive/Red Letter Christian/Catholic Workers Movement/Franciscan (read those who live in the margins as Brother Jesus called) do not look beyond. It is Holy Week. The week we travel the journey to the betrayal to the cross to the shivering in wait for our own capture and death for raising our voice against the powers to be, and then the resurrection.

1 year apart, on one of the most radical protests in history my kids decided to declare radical love and belonging as taught by Brother Jesus was their way (baptism)…Palm Sunday…the day the Empire and Religious controllers flexed their might, and a rabble of shit disturbers came to town with a different way that sooo scared them and shattered the existing glass ceilings the authorities broke their own laws to try and silence it. What happened? They got their ass kicked (sounds like two little radicals I know- we will belong and win with Love Daddy! or as Lee declared this year to his Nana at the heavenly tea party–Nana I Won!): Brad Paisley’s Shatted Glass ( https://youtu.be/As6wenBaRQI )

-Facebook Post March 25, 2018

 To often the church and the follower want to completely skip the journey. It is why the week if celebrated has been contracted by many, where Palm Sunday becomes Passion Sunday. It missed the point. Jesus, the one that should have not been heard, was heard. Jesus the one that should not have garnered a following, had a following. Jesus, the one that should not have shook the world…shattered it. Over 400 active warrior would be kings/messiahs lined the roads hanging from crosses. The Empire led into Jerusalem by their psychotic, Pontus Pilate with his legions showing the strength of Rome to remind the rabble, those less than human of what fate awaited those that spoke against Caesar.

This stance re-enforced by the Religious Controllers who were the opioid of the people under Caiaphas, who ruled the Sanhedrin at the Herod’s family whim. The Herod family who played all sides of internal Roman wars to always emerge in a favourable light of the people. The family that led a genocide of the first born sons at the rumblings of this labourer being born in a barn to a peasant girl because he might have been of God or as rumours said a rape child blessed by God…but there was something scary being born from this illuminated teenage girl’s powerful yes.

3 years of shaking the foundations. Rattling the ladder of power and beating it into a circle that could be danced wider to include more of those cast aside and cast out, as the matriarchs taught. Included. Affirmed in their personhood. Life made accessible.

The Empire commanding their presence upon their parade of power.

When the first whispers hit.

Brother Jesus was on the other side, entering quietly.

The Empire, Religious controllers, and bureaucrat were offended when those that were told they did not belong. Found Belonging cheering the victory calls of battle, not for Brother Jesus, but because of him they now had a voice in their own life.

A cheer that so rattled the super power, the only way to silence it was to cast aside all that kept the Empire’s peace to ensure that the voice would be silenced… the plot begins… when the voiceless raise their voices.

Sound familiar?

Palm Sunday 2018 Gospel reading, what call to belonging resonates in your heart with these words:

When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem,
to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives,
he sent two of his disciples and said to them,
“Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately on entering it,
you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat.
Untie it and bring it here.
If anyone should say to you,
‘Why are you doing this?’ reply,
‘The Master has need of it
and will send it back here at once.'”
So they went off
and found a colt tethered at a gate outside on the street,
and they untied it.
Some of the bystanders said to them,
“What are you doing, untying the colt?”
They answered them just as Jesus had told them to,
and they permitted them to do it.
So they brought the colt to Jesus
and put their cloaks over it.
And he sat on it.
Many people spread their cloaks on the road,
and others spread leafy branches
that they had cut from the fields.
Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out:
“Hosanna!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
Hosanna in the highest!”

-Mark 11:1-10

Advertisements

The Christmas season liturgically is 12 days that bring us to what is colloquially known as “Ukrainian Christmas” in January. It is one of the calendar discerning points between Orthodox and Roman Christianities (and the Protestant Christianities that spun out of the Roman Church). Liturgically this is the journey of what is commonly called the wise men, or like the old hymn, “We three kings”. Better translated the Magi, or magicians. The astrologers, the elder wisdom of the East brought to a creche in a manger in Jerusalem.

It is the story as brought to life in the writings of St. Matthew. Who is believed in tradition to be the tax collector Levi re-named Matthew (which means gift from God) by brother Jesus in his 3-year ministry before lynching by the powers that be. Written for an audience of Judea to understand the different Messiah. Not zealots but those open to the Kingdom idea of the way shown by Jesus. For even the traditions it is wrapped in, lay out a new path. Shattering of patriarchy control by listing women in the genealogy.

And showing the seditionist nature of the Herod family is seeking power even it means inflicting harm upon their own people. The Herod family maintained power as the puppet royals of Israel, much the way munitions manufacturers have made their billions and trillions in commerce—selling/working on both sides. That way guess what happens with whomever wins? You are in favour.

This is Herod that the Magi come to:

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5”In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel’.”

7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you have found him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

-Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12

 

 

Think about it. Herod would lead a scourge and genocide of the masses. Their first born to silence an idea being born into the world that we are each others’ brothers and sisters. We are in this together. Together a new world can be birthed. Together society can be just. Together we can dream no little dream, but one where love rules.

This is where the Magi showed wisdom in not succumbing to the money, the power and/or the prestige that was Herod. They stood in their beliefs. They did not sell out what they held to be true to appease the money.

How often in our world have we created situations where money/power run roughshod over our beliefs? In employment? Church (me thinks annual general meetings and tithing?)…but even more, as we must remember the Gospel story is a declaration of political intent. Caesar used gospels to proclaim his program for the Empire. So the apostles/disciples were doing the same in proclaiming their gospel of Brother Jesus.

What more needs to be looked at? A story where governance exercises its power not to the benefit of the citizen but the detriment. In Canada we have worked hard to build a just society, yet ideological entrenchment over the past few decades has shook this for we cannot look for what is best for citizens, but are lost in the loop of attack/defend our ideologies. What happens in the interim?

As a nation of just about 34 million we cannot move into our constitution to discuss a new division of power that would allow for a stronger public health and public education system than the one now that has these resting in smaller provinces that moving them up to the federal level for a use of the buying clout of the federation as a whole.

It means smoke and mirrors so each ideology has used Employment Insurance as a surplus way to find monies, instead of being available to those who need it with ease. Y’know the unemployed and those who are on medical leave from work in an expeditated fashion before debt creates an untenable situation.

It is in the province of Alberta bureaucracies designed for AISH (Assured Income for the Severally Handicapped) and PDD that are designed to cull the lists, and protect expenditures on what is available by not using transparency so the least of these live within poverty or not even being able to qualify because the bureaucracy has a “prove you deserve this” mentality that goes beyond confirmation by doctors and specialists.

The same can be said Federally to the CPP-Disability plan.

And lets not forget fighting against the Protestant myth of the deserving poor used by Neo-Cons to strip Alberta Works (Social Services) from being proactive, to being in a state where it is hard to grow out of the poverty cycle you are in once on it.

Yet ideologies argue between the left and the right instead of the constitutional guarantee of Peace, Order and Good Governance. We argue over issues that can be summed up by sound bytes of 140 characters, not understanding that for every bill, for every tax there is a ripple effect in the pond we exist within.  Ideological wars that weary the citizen to a point of apathy that nothing can change so why fight the system, let dark money take root, don’t show up to vote, because no party will be better than any other.

Disengagement due to disgruntlement due to government putting corporate profits over citizen well-being.

Hmmm…or Herod putting his gold coffers over those of his people.

Rome putting absolute power, and taking care of the wealthy class over the masses.

And the Magi know where the baby is, that brings the message of transformative love, and they must make a choice. Will they give in to apathy as nothing will change and tell Herod? Or will they believe the pablum because the last bill took care of their class because they are not the “label” currently being ignored or not Twitter sexy?

No.

They chose to go accomplish what they must, and not serve up their neighbour to death at the hands of ideological madness. For their wisdom was simple and shown in the gifts they brought.

            We are one in humanity. We are in this together from birth to death.

  As you journey with the Magi this season, how will you answer the question Herod in caring for your neighbour?

            Will you let apathy reign?

            Wealth control?

            Or love and care of neighbour win?


It is weird the things that run through your mind as a disembodied journalist, who has a theological background (though comics and myths already alluded higher meaning to me). As Rick floats through this weird limbo since imploding the dimension once known as Camelot.  Must be Anglican guilt speaking to him (it’s like Catholic guilt, but the inner voice comes with a British Accent) …for it is the story of Salome that speaks into his mind when he notes the small portal spark open and mind push Pen through to his wife.

Time to change things up. Time to be able to step through the horrors forced to be apart of. A child, used a lecherous offering by a megalomaniac villain. Herod Tetrarch. The Herod family was not about their faith or their people, they were about power. They played all sides of Roman Civil wars to ensure they always maintained power regardless of the winner. As Rick sends Pen through he sees the Ashram, Zed reminded him of the Herod family.

Yet this Herod may or may not have killed his own brother to wed his brother’s wife. But only to legally get to the niece.  This is the activity John the (Harbinger) Baptist called him out about publically, and was imprisoned for. But the line about the woman scorned. For it was Herod’s wife/sister-in-law that saw the need to go further. One of Rick’s favourite versions is found in Levi’s reimagining of the Cosmic Christ story in the early 1900’s the Aquarian Gospel.

But it is the lecherous uncle that truly wants Salome, and gets her to dance/strip in his drunken party.  And when she has him so wound up, he states he will give her anything, and that is when the mother strikes stating for her daughter to ask for John’s head on a platter…and yes it does not go well for the young Salome presented with this dead head on a silver platter.

The pursuit of absolute power pushing out anything else. The drive for revenge and being “right”. All warnings for any hero.  Warnings to ensure decisions made do not affect the young or that trauma is not passed down.

Rick’s astral projection was not alone in these ruminations. For next to him, was his old partner, John MacCurtis. Believed dead. Unable to be redeemed after he had been possessed by an insane alien entity seeking to destroy all.  The death if the truth was fully leaked out would have left him tarnished, cast away as a traitor, a fraud. His long hero lineage not seen.

Which brings Rick back to ancient ponderings around the child Salome, and the woman Salome at the tomb. The ultimate healing-redemption for this traumatized-abused child assassin.   For there is growing thoughts after the head on the platter she fled to the streets, and found home within the Christines. Even so to become part of the strong inner circle of women that stood their sacred ground at the darkest time.

“Rick what’s the score?”

“About the same Johnny.”

“Funny I thought we used to have bodies.”

“Okay maybe a bit worse off than usual. But I got Pen to Susan.” Rick said.

Rick’s mind was reeling, they had to get back. Pen was a toggle back to the mortal realm, the earthly what was usually known as Midgard. But there without him, the ancient evil had re-manifested. He could hear the echoes. The implosion of the realm that trapped him here had kept him trapped had allowed for the cell to break open.

John glanced at the small portal as it was about to close. Rick was his friend. Had been for most of his life. Partners in many world saving ventures. Rick had stood by him when he lost his family. Stood by him through the craziness with the Thor possession. Stood with him through the mayoral race. Through being mayor. The dark time and the re-emergence. And even with the darkness seizing his soul again. Yet even with dying so that the world could be saved, and being on the wrong side of good in that moment. His friend came for him again.

But it was time.

Time to truly pay him back.

“Rick!”

His friend turned.

Focus complete.

Energy shared.

Peace earned.

With two final words

“Bionics On!”

As his fist knocked his friend towards the portal that he was tethered to Pen through.

John MacCurtis winked at his friend.

“Give Susie a hug for me.”

Rick’s astral body struck the portal before closure.

A flash of lightning.

As the limbo remaining from Camelot.

As John MacCurtis.

Winked out.

To Be Continued…


38 years old is the book. Amazing isn’t it in this throw away society that something has endured and lasted through childhood, multiple uses in ministry from churches to streets to outreaches…to quiet nights on Christmas Eve with my own children. A pop up book back when Hallmark published such things, given to me by my Nan and Granddad to commemorate my first Christmas a scants 4ish months since birth, and 2ish months since the Christening into the Anglican tradition, within the Roman Catholic School gym (shamrock backboard and all).

Yet it is the story that endures and matters. Many argue the historicity of it. Did it actually happen? Was their a Virgin birth? Did it happen on Christmas Day? What about the Pagan Solstice?

Yet in simply sitting with my family this Christmas eve, no spiritual home to say, and reading the story of the family travelling at the darkest time of year seeking shelter. Dark times? The Solstice tells us this is the darkest time of year. The extra burden wrought by taxes that do not take not even affordability, but survival into account (no comment to Carbon Tax I promise)…that was the oppression of the Roman Empire where Joseph and Mary, and their people were viewed as a number, as commodities (ringing any familiarity yet?) to be used and abused.

Mary steps out of the commodification of her gender within her oppression by Rome and Religious Israel, to claim her yes in power to the Holy Mystery to bear his child. Where did this child come from? Some say a Virgin birth, some say another oppression by a Roman soldier using his property, much like David used Bathsheba, what we today call Rape, or a genocidal practice…yet Mary was the one asked whether or not she would keep it, would choose life in herself and for her baby and was blessed.

Yet that was not the end of the story, for Joseph also had to choose life. He had to choose to keep his betrothed (purchased) property and the child that was not his. He had 3 options, become the town joke by choosing and create their own outcast ways, cast Mary outside the city gates like other sex trafficked women to her death with child, or have her stoned to death.

Mary’s yes resounded to a mystical moment for Joseph to choose his own yes.

Yet this is not the end of the mysticism of the story as societal constructs of oppression are thrown off. For we are in the midst of the 12 days of Christmas. Yes it is more than a song, and I am sure the Google can reveal the Christian imagery revealed in the lyrics, but it is the 12 days that high liturgical churches embrace as a way of bringing the two nativities together.

For Luke gives us the call out to the other cast outs and oppressed imaged by the shepherds to come to the birth. Yet in Matthew, the universal Love that is the Holy Mystery, is told of the Magi who use means of magic, astrology and astronomy to track this effect in the sky of a bright light in the darkness to come and show love.  For the gifts brought would definitely be of benefit 30 years on when Jesus would leave being a general labourer and set forth to live transformational love in the world.

Yet it is the journey of the Magi, and their decision to not let Herod know what they knew about the source, Love incarnate in the manger, this is the source for the festival time Christendom finds themselves in now. The 12 Days of Christmas between the birth and the arrival of the Magi…or between the Protestant-Catholic Christmas and the Orthodox Christmas..

The universal story of these 12 days resonates outward everywhere, for it is not about creeds or bibles or buildings…it is something more incarnate.

These 12 days it is about the spiritual journey to the centre. It is about the journey home. For it is the Magi journeying into love, and then out of love and letting that light live to transform the world.

As I read the pop up book this year to my children, these are the thoughts that came out of my heart. The journey of love has not changed for anyone in our household. The journey into and out of love and letting it shine, is a moment by moment occurrence for each of us.The symbolism of the rite and song are not lost either as we continue the journey to home.

So in these 12 days, and beyond, what is your choice of love and home mean to you?


There is little written in the so-called Canonical gospels of John the Baptist’s (in the Aquarian, the Harbinger) parents. A few passages in the Gospel of Luke speaking of an elderly barren couple, even though Zacharias is part of the temple guild, and as such enters the Holy of Holies.

There is much revealed if you will on how the early years went down, The Magian Kings warning, the flight into Egypt of the Marian family (for a good exploration of thoughts on this I refer you to Anne Rice’s Christ Our Lord Out of Egypt).  But this work in a few scant verses shows the madness of Herod in wanting to hold onto his political power grip, for Herod rules at the grace of his Roman Oppressors (owners may be more appropriate) and his family has a long history of playing all sides of a conflict to continue to hold onto temporal power.

The birth chapters within the Aquarian Gospel truly reveal the battle for temporal versus universal power, and holistic wholeness. It begins to show how Karma shapes your own life, and that eventually actions through the Law of Cause and Effect will catch up.

  1. And other guards were sent to Zacharias, father of the harbinger, while he was serving in the Holy Place, to say, The King demands that you shall tell where is your son.
    12.But Zacharias did not know, and he replied, I am a minister of God, a servant in the Holy Place; how could I know where they have taken him?
    13. And when the guards returned and told the King what Zacharias said, he was enraged and said,
    14. My guards, go back and tell that wily priest that he is in my hands; that if he does not tell the truth, does not reveal the hiding place of John, his son, then he shall die.
    15. The guards went back and told the priest just what the king had said.
    16. And Zacharias said, I can but give my life for truth; and if the king does shed my blood the Lord will save my soul.
    17. The guards again returned and told the king what Zacharias said.
    18. Now, Zacharias stood before the alter in the Holy Place engaged in prayer.
    19. A guard approached and with a dagger thrust him through; he fell and died before the curtain of the sanctuary of the Lord.
    20. And when the hour of salutation came, for Zacharias daily blessed the priests, he did not come.
    21. And after waiting long the priests went to the Holy Place and found the body of the dead.
    22. And there was grief, deep grief, in all the land.
    23. Now Herod sat upon his throne; he did not seem to move; his courtiers came; the king was dead. His sons reigned in his stead.

Aquarian Gospel 6:11-23

Think about it, Herod was so scared of losing his false power, that he led a genocide of male children. That for the hearer of this legend should flash back to the story of Moses, and breaking of bondage slavery in Egypt through the actions of Pharaoh.

This is the madness that consumed and drove Herod, do we witness this in ourselves? Others? Our world? What can we do to heal it?

It leads to a shattering of declared religious belief to wield power, think of the world today, the Religious Right, ISIS, the list goes on and on of terror agents, fundamentalists that attach to a religion to exert control, but truly are not within the golden cord of love, rather like Herod are penning the story of their own demise through their own actions.

For Herod’s assasins break the Holy Law of Love, and Zacharias is murdered. Now remember for the closest modern example I can relate, is the assassination of Blessed Oscar Romero in Latin America when he was killed while blessing the Host at Mass.

In the Holy of Holies their was such control theory instead of Love Spirit in place, that there was fear of the priest dropping dead, and anyone retrieving the body dying for not being worthy. So basically a rope was tied around the priest to be able to pull the body out if this happened, and this relates to Levitical and Deuteronomical dress of the priests with bells, etc on their robes so you could tell if this happened.

The assassin broke the religious control, Herod placed himself as more powerful than the all love that everything exists in and that exists in everything (Panentheism via Rev. Matthew Fox’s Creation Spirituality if you will). So already the drive for power and control over others shows as it has through history, that religion is not the cause, but the guise these actors choose.

But Herod does not escape the murder (sin if you want, karma more appropriate)…for the stress, hate, fear and anxiety of this chase of a babe born in a cave…his body gives out, and his son takes over the thrown. Think about that, such atrocities to hold power, and then in the end, cause and effect on his system he loses his power.

Where is the drive for control consuming out divinity and driving an early transition from this human experience?

How can we move from a Herod existence?

What will you change to release your Herod?