Matthew chapter 2 reads: 16 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. 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.”
This is sometimes called the slaughter of the innocents. This pungent passage calls attention to ultimate loss. The events of Manchester on Monday echo this tragedy, and its impact for us in the West is profound. Sadly such loss is more commonplace in sections of the Middle East and Africa. War, hatred, and other human ills rob families, and the world of their most treasured assets – their children.
My heart and prayers go out to the families who have suffered the pain and anguish of the Manchester atrocity. I myself have experienced the loss of a child, and while no two hurts are the same, I have at least some comprehension of their suffering.
But why on this occasion are we especially sorrowful? It is probably because of the total senselessness of it. There are those who seek to use violence in the name of a benevolent, loving God. How can this be so? Scripture reassures us repeatedly of God’s love and concern for each of us, His children. Add to this the fact that God is an all powerful being. Would such a magnificent and mighty God need we frail humans to “fight for Him?”
So we are left saddened with yet another senseless act that destroys relationship and creates pain. Let us pray for those who mourn, and for the peace that exceeds all understanding.