Sharing from my colleague Bishop Abraham Allende of NE Ohio. A fine reminder and reflection on this 4th day of Christmas…
December 28 — Today, the Church commemorates THE HOLY INNOCENTS, the children of Bethlehem who were slaughtered by order of King Herod, in his attempt to eliminate the infant Jesus.
The following is an excerpt from a Christmas Sermon by Martin Luther; translated by Roland H. Bainton:
“The slaughter by Herod of all the children of Bethlehem and the regions about was a piece of sheer barbarism, but doubt not that Herod would find a plausible defense so that people would regard it, not as tyranny, but as necessary severity…and let no one doubt that Herod could devise a good case for the slaughter of the innocents.
He could plausibly argue that it were better to bereave a few hundred fathers and mothers of their children that to ruin the whole land.
Thus Herod and his men took the sword, and became frightful murderers even though they put out such a persuasive defense that everyone thought they were keeping the peace.”
This is an appropriate day to remember all the innocent children that are victims of abuse, injustice, murder, neglect, and violence of all times and places.
PRAYER OF THE DAY:
We remember this day O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by the order of King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
[Evangelical Lutheran Worship]