A cry was heard in Ramah ...
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 2:16-18 NLT
I so wish that this was not a part of the Christmas story. Would that insane people like Herod never existed. Would that power-crazy leaders like him never ruled a nation. It begs the question of how such things could ever happen. Many blame and question God when people do horrible things like this. I am not one of those people. I see this sort of vile and evil action coming from within creation and not from without. Sick people like Herod have always done bad things.
So how are we to respond when we read and hear of such unspeakable acts? I believe that we are called to weep and mourn with the families of those who are hurting so much. We are to be the hearts, hands, feet and voices of Christ. Our actions should be ones that bring peace, not more turmoil, in the midst of the storm. And somehow we are called to forgive and love even deranged enemies like Herod. We must not allow hatred for such people to consume us.
Empower us today Lord to be your hearts, hands, feet and voices in the earth. Help us to be consumed with your love.