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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."[5] When Herod realised 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."
The Feast of the Holy Innocents and Martyrs, celebrated by most Western Christian Churches on or around the 28th of December commemorates the slaughter of young children in Herod's attempt to find this "King of the Jews". Jesus. Did it actually happen? It may not have. Not in Herod's time.

A bit more over the fold, but first, why we're here:

Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.

The Collect from the 1928 Prayerbook (not usually my style) says it all:

O ALMIGHTY God, who out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast ordained strength, and madest infants to glorify thee by their deaths; Mortify and kill all vices in us, and so strengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives, and constancy of our faith even unto death, we may glorify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today, at St. Bart's, we read out the names of the dead in the Prayers of the People. We don't have a tower bell, but we do have a Buddhist bowl-gong, which we tolled, with the names of each of those lost in Connecticut on Friday. The ages of most--like the Holy Innocents--could be counted on one hand and maybe one or two from the other. People wept. I wept.

Now near to the 28th of December, how near to the commemoration of ancient Innocents this is. May we heal, and may we have a conversation about the Incarnation of Good amidst a backdrop of personal gain; a conversation about living amidst a conversation about where life begins; a conversation about healing amidst an atmosphere of recrimination; a conversation about being human in a great and glorious sea of human beings.

And let us not forget a quiet offering in our dark and quiet nights to that which sustains us, that which is, and which will be forever.

AMEN.

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