Today is Monday, December 15th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2966

Something which I received in an email, telling of the Christmas story and Christ's birth, but we tend to just remember the JOY of the manger scene and the nativity. We forgot about some of the dilemma of the time. Written by John Eldrege (in part):


"The news reports this fall on the execution of children by ISIS guerillas left us all speechless.

"We received a number of desperate emails crying out for prayer. It was---and remains---horrible.

:All this lingers in my mind as I re-read an often overlooked portion of the Christmas story:

"'Herod was  furious when he learned 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, because the wise men had told him the star first appeared to them about two years earlier. Herod's brutal action fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah:  'A cry of anguish is heard in Ramah---weeping and mourning unrestrained. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted---for they are dead.'  ~ Matthew 2:16 -18.'

"I have never seen this part of the story portrayed in any pageant or manger scene. For those of us raised in middle America, this genocide was completely left out of our Christmas understanding. Our visions of the nativity were shaped by the lovely crèche displays in parks, church lawns, and on many coffee tables. And while I love those tableaus very much, I am convinced they are an almost total re-write of the story.

"On the night before the military 'massacre of the innocents,' as it has come to be called, another urgent moment took place:

"'After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, 'Get up and free to Egypt with the child and His mother,' the angel said. 'Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to try to kill the child.' That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, His mother, and they stayed there until Herod's death.' ~ Matthew: 13 - 15

"This, too, seems right out of the devastation in the Middle East -- refugees fleeing for their lives, taking cover in a foreign county. But nor have I seen this portrayed in the lovely imagery surrounding Christmastime. I understand, the imagery is dear to many of us, but it also profoundly deceiving, it creates all sort of warm feelings, associations, and expectations -- many quite subconscious - of what the nature of the Christian life is going to be like for us.

"The omissions are, in fact, dangerous - the equivalent of ignoring the movement of ISIS......