So, here we are. It’s sometime in the area between December 25th, 2 BC and January 6th, 1 BC. In other words, by our reckoning, we are deep within what is to become known as the Christmas season- by all accounts- the season of joy.
The powerful wave of joy is shattered by a cry of agony;
A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
~ Matthew 2:18
Christ came to rule with Justice and love and mercy but the Devil seeks to rule with malevolence and hate and cruelty. Nowhere do we see that more starkly than in how Christ’s humility chooses to be born among the lowly and live with them, while Herod’s insatiable pride cannot show mercy even to the most innocent.
Today is the commemoration of the holy innocents. You could say that they were the first martyrs of Christianity. They were put to the sword to preserve the power of Herod just as other children were put to the sword to save the power of the Egyptian King.
Can you imagine being so vain and worldly that even a child must die to preserve your station and convienience? Surely nothing so defenseless could happen today…… oh wait.
Precisely the darkness that this child of the Nativity came to dispel.
Is there ugliness in the world? You bet. Precisely the kind we remember today. Yet the inhuman cruelty, the unimaginable malevolence the devil has for us, working his will through his willing ilk, and finding it’s apex in The Cross, is no match for the love of Christ who turns shouts of agony into cries of salvific joy.
The Darkness…no match for the light.