Day 356 December 22
10 Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse just as you’ve said and do exactly that for Mordecai the Jew, who works at the King’s Gate. Don’t leave out a single thing you’ve said!”
11 So Haman took the robe and the horse and put the robe on Mordecai. He led him on horseback through the city square, shouting as he went, “This is what the king does for the man he really wants to honor!” 12 Afterward, Mordecai returned to the King’s Gate, while Haman hurried home feeling great shame, his head covered.
13 Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Both his friends and his wife said to him, “You’ve already begun to lose out to Mordecai. If he is of Jewish birth, you’ll not be able to win against him. You are surely going to lose out to him.”
14 They were still discussing this with him when several royal eunuchs arrived. They quickly hurried Haman off to the feast that Esther had prepared.
Comment: an ending to remember whenever you are the underdog! God is always at work and will surprise us with wonders.
Matthew 26:26-35 – The Cross in the Cradle – why the Lord came to live among us
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take and eat. This is my body.” 27 He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from this, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many so that their sins may be forgiven. 29 I tell you, I won’t drink wine again until that day when I drink it in a new way with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 Then, after singing songs of praise, they went to the Mount of Olives.
31 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Tonight you will all fall away because of me. This is because it is written, I will hit the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will go off in all directions. 32 But after I’m raised up, I’ll go before you to Galilee.”
33 Peter replied, “If everyone else stumbles because of you, I’ll never stumble.” 34 Jesus said to him, “I assure you that, before the rooster crows tonight, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said, “Even if I must die alongside you, I won’t deny you.” All the disciples said the same thing.
Comment: liturgical poet Ann Weems has a poem titled The Cross in the Manger which inspired me to include Matthew’s story of the Passion of Christ into our Advent/Christmas readings. The Passion of Christ began in and is a continuation of the story of the child in a manger.
13 So when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.
18 Then the dragon took his stand on the sand of the seashore.
Comment: I continue to be struck by the similarities between the story of Herod and the Holy family.
Prayer: Come Lord Jesus, may we see the cross in the cradle, the manger in the cross, and your glory in our lives. Amen.