Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Slaughter of the Innocents

Massacre of the Innocents Léon Cognie

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. ~ Matthew 2:16

You know, I don't really care if this particular act of oppression actually happened.

 It symbolizes the reality of the evil that occurs when human beings put their lust for power above all else.   This is the world God entered.  A world where the weak and vulnerable are sacrificed for the sake of the powerful.

Why did God allow this to happen? 

 Why didn't God save the babies of Bethlehem?  Why doesn't God save the children who are stolen and sold into sex slavery today?  For that matter why doesn't God just snap his fingers and make everything all better?  

Why do we have to even bother with a baby born in a stable, with wisemen and stars and a crucifixion for that matter?

Who knows?  But here's a clue.  

The world where babies are killed on the whim of a power hungry king is the world that we humans create.  So what makes us think we have a better idea than God how to save it?

This I know.  

The world where innocents are sacrificed for the powerful is coming to an end.   

Perhaps the purpose of throwing this dark story at us at this time is to keep us from turning Christmas into our own private little family time.    

What does it mean for us today to worship one who came “throw down the mighty from their thrones”?  While we wait for Jesus to return and establish his Kingdom of justice, love and compassion, what can we do today for those who suffer from oppression, loneliness and unkindness? 

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