“We are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
Peace is the catch-word for Christmas. Throughout communities, churches and homes are decorated warmly for Christmas and practically ooze peace, joy, and love. However, that does not happen everywhere. There are some places that have a very wary peace and some that have no peace at all.
Today, in the midst of celebrating Christmas peace, we reflect upon the ramification of the birth of Christ and the infants who were slaughtered so that Jesus would be removed as a threat to Herod. Herod had heard from the Magi that a new king was born and he would have none of that.
He gave them safe passage through his kingdom to search for the babe and asked the Magi to return to him so that he could “pay homage” as well. His intention, of course, was to kill the infant. When the Magi did not return, in a rage, he ordered the slaughter of all males two years old and under.
Peace is a hope but violence is often a reality for God’s people. It comes because the world, like Herod, does not want to accept Jesus as the King of Peace. The world would rather eradicate all evidence of the Lord. That is why there is so much division in the world.
Our duty, as Christians, is to live as peaceful, loving individuals. We are to practice the virtues of love and mercy. We are to witness a different way of life to the world. If that causes us conflict, so be it. God will care for us ultimately and it is to Him that we owe our allegiance.
As we remember the slaughter of the innocents today, we pray for all people who are still slaughtered because of hatred, violence, or ignorance. May those souls rejoice in heaven as they await our return.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for the victims of violence and pray for peace in our world.