We have Mark's version of the murder of John the Baptist today. There is a line about Herod in the middle of the story that slips by many people: When he (Herod) heard him (John), he (Herod) was greatly perplexed; and yet he (Herod) liked to listen to him (John). Herod was annoyed by John's preaching. It dug at him at a weak point in his armor. And yet he still liked to listen to him.
I think this is one of the things that brings so many of us back to church on a regular basis. We like what we hear, we like the feelings we get from what we hear, we are drawn to something that we do not quite understand. And at the same time we get annoyed because we know the world doesn't work the way we hear that it is supposed to. We get annoyed by the hypocrisy we see all around us. We get perplexed but yet many of us still persist in pursuing this kingdom Jesus is creating.
That uncomfortable feeling we hear about in Herod's story and his reaction to John's words, is something we should pay attention to in our lives. Where is that tension in our lives? Perhaps that is exactly what we are supposed to be paying attention to and on which we should be focused.
Copyright 2009, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.