Manger Danger

Jesus would have stood out in his generation
for a sad reason.
He would have been in a minority of young men his age
because Herod tried to exterminate Him shortly after Jesus’ birth
by ordering the execution of all males two and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding area.
A slaughter.
A bloodbath.
The deaths of the innocents
by a king worried that another threatened his throne.
 Matthew 2 records the tragic subplot of the Christmas narrative this way:
“Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious,
and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under,
according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:  

“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Matthew 2:16-28
She refused to be comforted
Because they are no more.
God sent His Son into a brutal world.
A serrated edge sojourn in a hair-trigger land.
And it is the place where we still live.

Today, the news will display the faces of the children of Newtown, CT,
gunned down in their innocence one year ago,
evidence that there is still a prince of this world
worried that another is coming for his throne.
Oh, He’s coming, all right.
And when He comes, all things will be set right.
There will be no more weeping
Or mourning
And the only bloodbath will be the one prepared for those who thought that babies were fair play in this war
And that swords and automatic weapons ruled the day.
There is a day coming when love and peace will be the only law.
I wonder if Mary told her son about the slaughter surrounding His birth.
How did they process that – mother and Son?
How many mothers wept,
How many fathers grieved,
how many little girls grew up wondering why they were so many
among so few
because of the loss of the innocents.

And Jesus was acquainted with sorrow from birth
And carried the burden of knowing that unnumbered children lost their lives
Even as His was protected, guided, celebrated.
The holidays are a complex emotional concoction of joy, nostalgia, hope, and sadness – especially when we’ve lost one we love.
Jesus knows.
Jesus knows.
Jesus knows.
In your sorrow, your sadness, your grief
Know that you celebrate Him and honor Him, too,
For He was a man of sorrows
And He holds your heart in His calloused, gentle hands.
“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all” from Isaiah 53
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    The Conversation

  1. “a serrated edge sojourn in a hair-trigger land”
    Lady, your creative articulation is beyond compare!

  2. I love Bruce and I’d never heard this song before!
    Such a thought-provoking post, Lori.