Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the Child. And when you find Him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship Him, too!”
Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: “A cry was heard in Ramah — weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.” Matthew 2:7-8, 16-18
These verses came to mind in the aftermath of slaughter in Newtown, CT today. The story that played out in Bethlehem of old was ugly, tragic, horrific just like the story of evil inflicted on the innocent children and adults today. Makes me want to ask yet again, “Why, O Lord, why?” Just as God knew about the babies who would die after King Herod’s order long ago, He also knew about the tragedy to hit a quiet town in Connecticut today.
Parents and families had no clue. Last night they filled up the school gymnasium to watch and listen to their children perform in the annual Christmas Program. Pride filled their hearts to overflowing then as shock at the senseless killing does tonight. My heart cries for them. God’s heart cries in overwhelming sorrow too.
Parents, I speak a word to you from one who has faced the sudden and tragic loss of my child. Your lives are forever altered from this day forward. You will join the long list of families who can hardly make it through the holidays each year, especially yours with the date being so close to Christmas. This is not a gift; it is a horrific memory. I would imagine your minds cannot comprehend such wickedness from one so young himself. You are in shock and disbelief which will ease you into grief. May you be surrounded by those who will comfort you now and never forget. May your family members and friends stay by you in the weeks, months and years to come and should you wish to talk, may they listen. There is no way to make sense out of a senseless act of murder except to say that we live in an evil world and the enemy does not discriminate. He will kill any and all to hurt the God he hates.
I know the God of all comfort will wrap you in His arms forever from this day forward. He has always known of this day. It must be so hard to be God; allowing the death scene to play out over and over for all the world to see. I cannot fathom it.
I have hope in the Shepherd who will gather His lambs and I pray it will be soon. Meanwhile I will be praying for you.
He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. Isaiah 40:11