There is hope for your future

Father, may these spoken words be faithful to the written word and lead us to the living word, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Today we remember the children who were brutally murdered at the hand of Herod because he was afraid of losing his power as king.

Here three days after the joy of celebrating the birth of Christ we are drawn back to the realities of the world where violence is the outworking of the need to control and dominate for personal gain.

Today we hear a story of a grown Man being so scared of losing his power, so scared of losing his power to a child, that he orders the massacre of innocent children to try and preserve himself.

Herod would do anything to get what he wanted. To be able to keep what he had.

Jesus born in stable came to sacrifice himself for others, Herod sacrificed others for himself.

In the story we see Joseph receiving a warning from an angel to leave and flee to Egypt to escape the destruction of Herod, Joseph didn’t think twice about listening to his dreams as he had experienced this advice before. Joseph guards and protects the Holy family from the sickening decision of Herod – there was hope for their future.

The Gospel says that Herod was infuriated, that he had been deceived. Herod’s power and decisions had been questioned and ignored, and his wrath came with the spilling of innocent blood, a scene portrayed by the haunting words of the Prophet Jeremiah:

Thus says the Lord:

A voice is heard in Ramah,

   lamentation and bitter weeping.

Rachel is weeping for her children;

   she refuses to be comforted for her children,

   because they are no more.

Thus says the Lord:

Keep your voice from weeping,

   and your eyes from tears;

for there is a reward for your work,

says the Lord:

   they shall come back from the land of the enemy;

there is hope for your future,

says the Lord:

   your children shall come back to their own country.

Here after following the star we now see the shadow of the cross emerging from the light.

Jesus born in stable came to sacrifice himself for others, Herod sacrificed others for himself.

Yet in this terrible violence in this awful death we see the hope for the future, the hope for the little ones that we killed by Herod’s wrath, and that hope is Jesus who after his own death went down and brought the children home to him and there was no more weeping and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

The message from the Angel to Joesph is a message to us all to keep watch for the Herod’s in our lives, who are the ones that fear losing their power and control that they would do anything to stop that.

Who can we protect who have no voice, who cannot cry out, who cannot fight back.

Jesus came into the world to bring us closer to him, to show us not to follow people who are in it for themselves, who can ignore the weeping and fear of others. Help us Lord to see the hope for our future, to see your hope in us as we live out that hope in the face of the tragedies that are in the world around us. Help us to be your hands and feet, to be the light in the darkness, help us to think of others and not just ourselves.

Jesus born in stable came to sacrifice himself for others, Herod sacrificed others for himself.

Amen.

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