Murder in Bethlehem


Holy Innocents Day: “(Herod) became very angry and sent men to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and all the country around it, up to two years old.” (Matthew 2:16)

Once again Rachel cried from her grave over her children.  Joseph got up, took the little Child Jesus and His mother and fled to Egypt.  Thirty- three years later another Herod, together with the religious and government leaders succeeded in killing the One God sent to save us from our sins; to save us from ourselves.

In our world, every day is still a day for killing the little ones.  More than 200 people have been killed in St. Louis, more than a few of them children caught in the line of fire.  However, Jesus enlarged the concept of killing to belittling our neighbor with insults and verbal abuse.  Luther said the Fifth commandment includes hurting or harming our neighbor rather than offering to help and support them.

Holy Innocents Day is a day to focus on the ways that people are killed within in marriages and families through physical, emotional and verbal abuse.  Yes, even those in highest positions of power use that power not to demonstrate how to help and support, but to belittle and insult.  Holy Innocents Day is a mirror for humanity.  The Herod’s still live.  Rachel still cries from her grave near Bethlehem.

How will the words of Jesus sound in our ears upon his return when he says, “As you did to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Pontius Pilate tried to wash his hands of the abuse, insults and murder taking place before him.  Can we?



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