When the dawn is dark

December 28, 2016 — 1 Comment

I know we are in the midst of celebrating Christmas with tidings of comfort and joy, with treasured family visits, with the warm feeling of gifts and holiday glow. But while we live on this broken earth, there is always a ‘but.’

And today the ‘but’ is the commemoration of the Feast of the Holy Innocents [to say we are celebrating the feast doesn’t seem quite right]. The Holy Innocents were the children murdered by Herod after the Magi failed to return to him with news about Jesus.
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.” {Jeremiah 31:15}

So three days after we celebrate our savior’s birth, we pause and remember those defenseless children who died shortly after, and the grieving parents they left behind.

As LaVonne Neff says about Christmas,
“And they all live happily ever after …except for those Bethlehem babies that Herod murdered, of course; and Jesus’s family, who were so afraid of the new king that they hid from him in Egypt; and Jesus himself, who was executed by a Roman puppet too timid to stand up to the mob; and most of Jesus’s best friends, who within a few years were dead, and not of natural causes…”

We hold on to the hope of Christmas that a light has come to shine in the darkness. But we also acknowledge the truth that sometimes the new day dawns dark. Sometimes thick clouds obscure the light. Sometimes joy is followed by great pain and agony.
dark 002

But– all is changed.
The ‘but’ has turned to ‘and’.

Now Immanuel has come.
And God is with us.
Christmas means we have received something even better than God’s power. We have received God’s presence. He is with us in the darkest dawn and in the longest night. He is with us in joy and gladness, and with us in suffering and sorrow. We are no longer alone.

11 21 10 thai 4 loi krathong 038

They will call Him Immanuel” (which means, “God with us”). Matthew 1:23

One response to When the dawn is dark


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