Remembering the innocents

Jeremiah 31:15–17 (NIV): This is what the Lord says:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
16 This is what the Lord says:
“Restrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,”
declares the Lord.
“They will return from the land of the enemy.
17 So there is hope for your descendants,”
declares the Lord.
“Your children will return to their own land.

This day is set aside to remember the time in Israel when boys two and under were killed as a despot king tried to eliminate what he perceived to be a political threat. The Christmas story is not a “clean” story. It is a time of horror and pain as well.

We need to be aware in our time as well. Conflict in our world will often run right over innocent children and families. Gun violence. Domestic violence. Drug abuse. War. Famine.

We are called to remember. We are called to cry out to God.

Almighty God, out of the mouths of children you manifest your truth, and by the death of the Holy Innocents at the hands of evil tyrants you show your strength in our weakness: We ask you to mortify all that is evil within us, and so strengthen us by your grace, that we may glorify your holy Name by the innocence of our lives and the constancy of our faith even unto death; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who died for us and now lives with you and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer 2019)

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