In the musical Herod is singing, "So you are the Christ -- you're the great Jesus Christ. Prove to me that you're no fool. Walk across my swimming pool." When I first heard that, I thought the lyricists were hard up for a rhyme. Surely Herod did not have a swimming pool. Was I ever wrong. On a trip to Israel in 2004, I got to visit the ruins of one of Herod's palaces. This one had been at Caesarea on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea.
Herod had good taste in real estate, but as you can see from the photos, his kingdom is long gone. Only part of the pillars of the palace are left, but something else of real interest to me is also left. It's Herod's swimming pool. He could walk out his back door and either swim in his pool or swim in the sea.
Herod feared Jesus' influence, and for good reason. Herod had no real claim to be king other than political appointment. It is not so with Jesus' kingdom, which is not of this world. This is expressed well in verse 4 of "The day thou gavest," a lovely hymn byJohn Ellerton (1826-1893):
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek