Saint Days: The Holy Innocents
Today is a somewhat somber day as we remember the children murdered by King Herod as he sought to eliminate the Christ Child. This tragic account can be found in Matthew 2:13-18 (NRSV):
"Now 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.' Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and 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.'
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.'"
Today is a day many Anglicans choose to pray for our nation on account of the sins of our nation regarding abortion which is ultimately the destruction of innocent life. As we meditate on these things, let us pray:
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 innocency 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.