Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 28th December 2020: The Innocents

Holy Family The Innocents Matthew Chapter 2 Herod

Reading : Verses from St Matthew, Chapter 2

Massacre of the Innocents

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him. Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod.....

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men.

(Church in Wales lectionary, from New Revised Standard version)


Traditionally the Church remembers the killing of the innocent children in Bethlehem, by King Herod, today. A puppet king put in place by the Romans, he was always on the look-out for threats from outside and inside his kingdom. The birth of a baby foretold by prophecy to be a king, was enough to worry him. His solution was to kill all small children in Bethlehem, to ensure he catches the baby the wise men have come to worship.

Today, the church prays for refugees, after all Mary and Joseph, and Jesus, became refugees when they fled to Egypt, seeking sanctuary.

Refugees are those fleeing from desperate situations whatever the cause, they usually leave their country with nothing, and come to a strange land where they do not speak the language. Why do so many people see them as terrorists, today?


Lord Jesus,
your were a refugee as a baby,
seeking sanctuary in Egypt
and fleeing from the wrath of Herod.
May we welcome those who need help
with open arms
rather than suspicion and doubt,
remembering that the first few years
of Your life were spent as a refugee.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to look up a map showing how far the Holy family had to travel to get from Bethlehem to Egypt, and their eventual return to Nazareth:

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