Saturday, December 28, 2019

On the Feast of the Holy Innocent's - 2019

Today, much of the Church remembers a day that is strangely dissonant to the joyous strains of the Christmas Season.  While much of the twelve days are full of mirth and good cheer, today echoes of terrified little boys and the inconsolable cries of mothers helpless to stop the unfolding slaughter  that exploded in unimaginable horror before their eyes. Gari Melchers, an Artist of the Nineteenth & early Twentieth Centuries captured the moment in his rendering here on the page.  Try to Imagine for a moment you, your wife, your mother, or your sister jamming her frame in a a crevice in a desperate ploy to escape Herod's  murdering thugs?

Saint Matthew captures this moment in the second chapter of his Gospel:
"Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: 18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more."
Many have asked how was this overlooked by contemporary historians?  This is likely that given the depths of Herod's moral turpitude, the killing of a fifty or so peasants would hardly be a footnote.  Yet our God has a long memory and doesn't skip over footnotes.  

Today, my heart is broken afresh for all mothers who've found theirselves crying out like Rachael.  The mother who wakes to learn that a son took his life in a dark, despairing night.  The mother who receives a police notification that her son, a sleeping passenger, had his young life extinguished in a auto mishap.  For the mothers who were deceptively led by Planned Parenthood to believe that  they alone offered the best option.  Nor can I fail to remember mother's who right now, sit by beds of desperately ill children with the bleakest hope for recovery.  For the reader who's found themselves in this, I will not offer platitudes.  I will offer you Jesus of Nazareth.  As the late Francis Schaeffer would oft remind us, He is the God who is there.

The Coventry Carol captures this day

1 comment:

Tim Mc. said...

Rev Andy, thanks for spotlighting this tragedy which befell the community into which Jesus arrived. God's anger with Herod's treachery is relevant today.