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Holy Innocents – Christmas Day 2

December 28 – Holy Innocents

Reading: Matthew 2:12-18

This is often a part of the Christmas narrative we like to just gloss over. We know of the Wise Men who traveled to find the King of the Jews and how Herod was jealous.

A gloomy note to strike during this happy time! But one thing the Christian faith is not, it is not unrealistic. It does not “make believe” that we can simply wish away evil, or ignore it. No, we deal with it, head-on, in all its brutal tragedy. These little children were slaughtered, while the Son of God, went free. Such it always is with the ways of Satan. He wants nothing more than to destroy what God has declared good. And so, the agents of Satan were coming after our dear Lord, but His time had not yet come. His Son escaped, in divine irony, back to the land where God’s people had been enslaved so long before, and out of Egypt, God called his Son (Hosea 11:1). The commemorations of Stephen, John, and the Innocents remind us that not all receive the Gift of Christmas with joy. However, God’s plan of salvation spreads in spite of hatred. Even today, many actively reject the Gospel and persecutes those who preach and live it.Yet through all the years, the Church has continued to proclaim Christ — Christ incarnate, Christ crucified, Christ resurrected, Christ ascended, Christ returning. The very resistance of the Devil, the hard-hearts of others, and the testimony of our own sinful natures all provide ample evidence of the world’s desperate need for His forgiveness.

 

Prayer:

All praise for infant martyrs, Whom Your mysterious love
Called early from their warfare To share Your home above.
O Rachel, cease your weeping; They rest from earthly cares!
Lord, grant us crowns as brilliant and faith as sure as theirs. Amen.
(LSB 517:9)