Matthew 2:16-18 NIVUK
16 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. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 ‘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 Bible story doesn’t hide away from the dark side of life, of violence and suffering, as in this example of the paranoid Herod seeking to depose of new born king no matter what it takes. Such episodes ask a question of us – what is our response to tragedies and conflicts around us? Do we ignore them? Do we give in, believing there is nothing we can do? Or do we cry out to God in anger and compassion, demanding his justice and mercy to be shown, believing that he is indeed our Creator and Lord?
Father, teach us to turn all our emotions into prayer, not just joy, but also anger, fear and dismay.