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Archive for December 2nd, 2022

Advent … Day 6 of 29

Week 1
The People’s Need

When the Magi had gone,
an angel of the Lord
appeared to Joseph in a dream.
“Get up,” he said,
“take the child and his mother
and escape to Egypt.
Stay there until I tell you,
for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
Matthew 2:13
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted
by the Magi,
he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys
in Bethlehem and its vicinity
who were two years old and under,
in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
Matthew 2:16
A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
Matthew 2:18
The Wise disobey the King … in Godly wisdom

It is a black spot on the Christmas story. One that is often not told, alongside that of the Magi … their voyage in search of what the stars have told, the gifts for the babe. Maybe because it occurred a couple years after the birth of the Messiah, or maybe, just maybe … we cannot handle the truth?

The order of King Herod (a leader known to have killed any who threatened his rule) to have all male babes up to two years old, killed. In history this act is known as the Massacre of the Innocents. It is horrific to imagine what it must have been like to live through such a horror.

This sacrifice of innocent life … it too is part of the waiting that is advent. It shows us the dichotomy of the brutality of human life compared with the life-giving that this babe brings. This babe, who later grows up to be killed … yet another killing of an innocent.

Our sin-filled world is one of enemies, brutality. Persecution and torture and death (and war) are part of the package that sin has wrapped up for us all.

As we open a door each day this advent season, may we each remember that our joy in celebrating the birth of our Redeemer came at a cost, that innocence was slaughtered for salvation. May we also remember those who are suffering under persecution … may we lift them up each day in prayer. May we humble ourselves and give our time, our resources, our efforts to bring peace to Earth as we prepare to celebrate the Prince of Peace.

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