Matthew 2:16-18 (NASB)
16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
And she refused to be comforted,
Because they were no more.”
O Lord, our God, here on the fourth day of Christmas, we are still joyously celebrating the birth of Jesus, yet at the same time we mourn the deaths of all those innocent babies and young children slaughtered by Herod. Because of his greed for power and fear of the baby the magi told him was born king of the Jews, Herod mercilessly murdered male children–children who had been anxiously awaited by their parents and loved by their families. We know how much Jesus loved little children, and we know You work all things for good to those who love You and are called to Your purpose. Although we don’t understand how the deaths of those murdered children fit into Your perfect plan, we trust You and Your perfect plan. In Jesus’s name. Amen.