Pray for the Mothers

It’s impossible for a Christian who knows the story of Jesus’ birth to ponder the murders in Newtown without thinking about King Herod’s order for his soldiers to slaughter all the boys of Bethlehem under the age of 2.

Here’s the narrative from Matthew 2:16-18

When the Magi had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”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.”

Many times in scripture words like “until” or “refusing” do not mean what they commonly mean today.

For example, when the Bible teaches that a “Nazarene” does not touch any strong drink “until” the day of his death, that does not mean he tied one on at his own wake.

Rachel, “refusing” to be comforted, does not mean she’s unwilling…it simply means, she’s unable to receive comfort for the greatness of her sorrow.

The mothers of Newtown are like Rachel.

Pray for them, as their sorrow must surely be as unyielding as those victimized in Bethlehem so long ago, in such a similar way.


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