Today’s Word: ‘INNOCENTS’ as in… the Feast of the Holy Innocents on this Fourth Day of Christmas.
Wading back through centuries of humankind’s inhumanity to humankind, we arrive at a faraway place in a faraway time that still seems far too close for comfort. The Gospel writer Matthew narrates the reaction of King Herod to the news that what the Prophet Isaiah had spoken centuries earlier had come to fruition.
Herod, the leader of the Jewish people under the authority of Rome during the time of Jesus’ birth was threatened by the Magi’s report that a child—an infant had been born in Bethlehem and would become king. Seeking to rid himself of the possible threat to his power, authority and throne,
Herod responds with violence, fear, jealousy and rage. He commands that all male children in and around Bethlehem, two years old and under, be killed. The darkness of his own small world closed in on him and backed him into his own dark corner. He failed to acknowledge the Good News of the coming of God-Light into the dark world as something life-giving and hope-filled.
And innocents suffered.
Yet, for as long as innocents have suffered, people have come together and proven that love wins. In the midst of death, sickness, disease and brokenness, human hearts filled with the power of life, health, healing and wholeness have gathered together to proclaim that love prevails, that faith stands in the light and creates hope where there is no hope, makes a way where there is no way, loves where there is no love, speaks where there are no words, breathes where there is no breath, lives where there is no life.
“A child has been born for us; a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.”