Matthew 2:13-18 NRSVue
13Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt 15and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”
16When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, 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 magi. 17Then what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
In this scene we see the new born Saviour intimately linked with the weakest and most vulnerable.
When I consider the misery and cruelty of this scene, how does it move me? Do I think first of my own pain, or the pain of others?
Who are the "innocents" in our world? How is the Christ related to them? How do I think of them?
There something about the murder of children that shakes our faith. How could God allow the innocent and unprotected to be killed by evil people when their whole life lies before them? Last September we saw the massacre of hundreds of children taken hostage in a Russian school. We witnessed the parents and families beside themselves with grief and rage. We are driven back to the psalms of rage and protest: (Psalm 94) Yahweh, how much longer are the wicked to triumph? Are these evil men to remain unsilenced, Boasting and asserting themselves? .…No, Yahweh is still my citadel, My God is a rock where I take shelter; He will pay them back for all their sins, He will silence their wickedness, Yahweh our God will silence them.
Another sad feast, remembering Herod's bloodthirsty massacre and the heartbreak of the babies' mothers. As we recover from Christmas, other parts of the world -- even of our own country -- are suffering bombs, bloodshed, bereavements. Lord, keep my heart open to the griefs that confront me.
This terrible scene evokes the genocides and atrocities that still make the news. I pray with compassion for all who are affected by violence and cruelty.