Today the church remembers the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, the children King Herod killed when searching in fear for the Christ child.
We sing of this in the carol “Lully Lullay,” which is meant to mimic the lullaby the mothers of Bethlehem sang to their children to keep them quiet as soldiers searched for them.
“Herod the king, in his raging…”
This still happens today. Children are still our most vulnerable population, especially when the powerful become fearful.
Children are the first to die in times of famine and disease, when food and medicine are hoarded by the powerful.
Children are still the first to die in the wars their parents wage.
Children are the first to feel it when social services are cut by the powerful.
Children are the first to feel it when we pass laws of convenience instead of laws of conviction.
Remember our Holy Innocents today:
-The children of Oxford, Michigan, of Newtown, of Columbine, of every situation where we fail to act to protect them and instead protect guns
-The children of Syria, Afghanistan, and all places torn by perpetual war.
-The children of the rural poor.
-The children of the urban homeless.
-The children of undocumented immigrants.
-The children born addicted.
-The children who fall into addiction because their futures are bleak.
-The children who have every privilege but are not loved.
-The children who are greatly loved but have no privilege and suffer in a world of status games.
-The children of Papua New Guinea tortured for being accused of witchcraft.
-The children sold into slavery around the world for the powerful to abuse.
-The children who are left without parents or grandparents in this pandemic because we are selfish.