Posted by: theheartlander | December 28, 2010

They came for the babies…

In the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches, today, December 28, is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, commemorating the babies killed by King Herod in his jealous rage to eliminate Jesus, the newborn King.

Herod “the Great,” king of Judea, was unpopular with his people because of his connections with the Romans and his religious indifference. Hence he was insecure and fearful of any threat to his throne. He was a master politician and a tyrant capable of extreme brutality. He killed his wife, his brother and his sister’s two husbands, to name only a few.

Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story: Herod was “greatly troubled” when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of “the newborn king of the Jews,” whose star they had seen. They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also “do him homage.” They found Jesus, offered him their gifts and, warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.

Herod became furious and “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.” The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah,/sobbing and loud lamentation;/Rachel weeping for her children…” (Matthew 2:18). Rachel was the wife of Jacob/Israel. She is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites were herded together by the conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.

Many historians and Biblical scholars think there may have been “only” a few dozen infants and toddlers killed.

The Holy Innocents are few, in comparison to the genocide and abortion of our day. But even if there had been only one, we recognize the greatest treasure God put on the earth—a human person, destined for eternity and graced by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

What does all this say about our own country, where more than 3,300 babies are killed by abortion every day?

What drives us to go on a Herod-like rampage?

Are we, like Herod, afraid that this new King — who is Love — might remove us from our own self-made thrones?

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Responses

  1. Important and timely reminder, W4WW! A beautiful – but tragic – parable for our time!

    • We’re afraid that a baby will usurp the number one spot in our lives: our own selves! And a baby does do that, in a way — but we NEED deliverance from our own control-freak selfishness! A baby only SEEMS “demanding” — all that he or she really wants is our love. And once the baby is there in front of us, visible and touchable and cuddleable, he or she is very easy to love!

      Some wise person once said, if every mother could SEE the baby inside her, there would be no more abortion. (This is why “4-D” ultrasound is such a wonderful thing!)

      I was at the March for Life in Washington earlier this year. About 45 women and half a dozen men from “Silent No More” were at the forefront of the rally and march. They were very somber and serious. They silently carried black signs with white lettering that said simply “I regret my abortion.” (The men carried signs that said “I regret lost fatherhood.”) At the end of the march, in front of the Supreme Court, using a small podium and sound system, they each gave their testimonies. Hour after hour, as the sun sank, and it got darker, and colder and colder, they spoke, one after another, until the last one had spoken.

      I stayed until the very end — partly to honor their pain and their journey, partly because the story of Christ’s forgiveness/mercy/healing is the story I never tire of hearing. Every woman, every story, every circumstance was different — but the grief, the horror, the guilt, the regret, was all the same. But, praise be to God, each story ended with the woman sharing the healing and peace she’d come to know through God’s grace and mercy, and the communion and support of other women who’d been through the same experience.

      If you or anyone you know, woman or man, has been broken by abortion, please go to, or have them go to:
      http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/
      This group is doing God’s work on earth!

  2. That’s quite a testimony, W4WW – and it must have been quite an uplifting (and encouraging) experience as well! Thanks for posting…

  3. …standing. Silent. With you on this.

    Extraordinarily well done (I have spoken and taught among “D Div” pontificates… that not only never did, but never COULD HAVE conveyed such a Truth so succinctly, so powerfully… let alone so well).

    CM Sackett

  4. The thing that made the strongest impression on me afterward, as I thought back on all the dozens of testimonies I’d heard, was how similar the journey had been for all these very different individuals. Here was the pattern that I heard:

    After the abortion — often immediately afterward, sometimes before the procedure was even over — the woman REALIZED what she had really done: killed her child.

    The guilt and regret were absolutely overwhelming, and could only be numbed out by addictions of one sort or another. Every one of them had fallen into alcoholism or drug addiction or promiscuity or workaholism. All had struggled with depression, some of them attempting suicide.

    At some point, they met JESUS — there was one woman who was not a Christian, but had had a powerful experience of a Higher Being — and experienced His forgiveness. It was at that point that they were delivered from their addictions and self-destructive behaviors.

    Here’s the thing, though. Despite deliverance from addiction, and acceptance of Jesus’ forgiveness, they were STILL not healed. The grief was still very great — for, even though they knew they were forgiven, that still did not bring back the child who died. The final healing did not come until they joined a group of other post-abortive women for mutual support. The two programs that got mentioned the most were “Forgiven and Set Free,” a Bible study that meets regularly over a period of time; and “Rachel’s Vineyard,” which is a weekend retreat. It struck me that even though Jesus can heal people of their addictions and guilt, THE HEALING WAS NOT COMPLETE for these women UNTIL THEY JOINED WITH OTHER BELIEVERS IN MUTUAL MINISTRY TO EACH OTHER.

    It was a powerful, unforgettable lesson to me that we, the Church, really and truly ARE the Body of Christ, just as the Bible says! Jesus really and truly does NEED US to be His feet, hands, eyes, ears, hearts and voices to each other!

    http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org

    http://rachelsvineyard.org/ [“Healing the pain of abortion, one weekend at a time”]

    http://sites.google.com/site/forgivenandsetfreecom/ [“A post-abortion Bible study for women”]

    The National HELPLINE
    1-866-482-LIFE
    [Toll-free, confidential, 24 hours a day -7 days a week — Calls are answered by men and women who have personal experience with abortion and the healing process]

    Please share these resources with anyone you know who needs them!


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