Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Mark 6: 14-29
Text: When Herod heard it (Jesus’ ministry and miracles) he said, “John whom I beheaded has come back from the dead!” (v. 16)
Sometimes our Past haunts us. We do something that we are ashamed of doing or something happens to us, and we just cannot shake its grip upon us. This is true of me and, I am sure, it is true of you, too.
Herod was fascinated by the one called John the Baptizer. He found his message both enchanting and challenging. He had a love-hate relationship with John for John was not afraid to speak truth to power.
One night Herod threw a party that had veiled dancing women. One of the veiled women was his step-daughter. So taken by her was he drunken state that he promised her anything in the kingdom. The daughter asked her mother what she should ask for. “The head of John the Baptizer on a platter”, her mother replied. You see, John had offended Herod’s wife, who was also his sister-in-law, and she wanted his death more than anything else in the world. Not wanting to lose face in front of all of his guests, Herod ordered the death of John, a decision that immediately regretted and one that haunted him to his dying day.
Yes, sometimes our decisions, indiscretions and secrets so carefully locked away in the Past continue to haunt us. There is only One Person who can free us from our Past; Jesus–the truest and purest revelation of the Eternal God whose very nature is Love itself. Only this Eternal Love can unlock the chains that bind us. Only a Holy Love can set up free.
In the words of that ancient prophet Isaiah, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall become bright as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be white of wool.”
Lord, free me from the Past that haunts me. Removing those chains that bind me, lead me into the Future that fulfills Your Purpose for my life. Amen.