Friday, December 28, 2007


Today, in the Roman Catholic church is the commemoration of the Massacre of the Innocents, as described in Matthew 2:16-18:

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. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘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.’
I was considering a way to write about that portion of the Christmas story tonight. Poetry? First person narrative by Mary? I decided that there was no way that I could portray the horrible nature of such an action.

It is only recorded in Matthew, and is not found in other written history. Some historians think that it did not happen. One explanation for this event missing from history is that it was small compared to the many huge atrocious actions that Herod took. It was just too small to be noticed.

For those families which lost their children, it could not have seemed to be a small event. It would have been heart wrenching and horrible.

I was thinking today about the will of God. I've heard, when something really awful happens, that some people might say, "It was the will of God." This was not God's will. It was evil and sinful. God's ultimate will will be fulfilled, but in the meantime, we take abhorrent actions. We were talking about hope in Sunday school last weekend, and how it is present, even though hardship. One class member said that it is all God's will -- part of God's plan. I think that God can make good come out of horrible things, and that in the end, his plan will be fulfilled. I do not think that hardship and horror are the work of God.



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