Exhortation: The Feast of the Holy Innocents

We are in the final week of Christmas. We have sung Christmas Carols at home, nursing homes, at Church, and many of us will be whistling these carols for the next few weeks.

This past Sunday we got a glimpse not from the gospels, but from Hebrews of the power of the Son of God. He is the final revelation of God. Christmas is a call to learn and adore the Christ more and more.

The incarnation is the miracle of divinity becoming flesh without losing his divinity; He is fully God and fully man. It is the miracle of birth. Birth, which is despised in our culture, is actually God’s gift to men to replenish the earth with his likeness.

On December 28th, the Church celebrated the Feast of the Innocents. George Grant summarized the Feast of the Innocents with these words:

It has always been the focus of the Christian’s commitment to protect and preserve the sanctity of human life—thus serving as a prophetic warning against the practitioners of abandonment and infanticide in the age of antiquity, and abortion and euthanasia in these modern times.  Generally set aside as a day of prayer, it culminates with a declaration of the covenant community’s unflinching commitment to the innocents who are unable to protect themselves.[1]

It is the day when the children of Judea were slaughtered by Herod the Great following the birth of Christ. Historically, we are reminded of the Romans who left their unwanted infants in ancient Rome abandoned outside the city walls to die from exposure to the elements or from the attacks of wild foraging beasts, and the Primitive Canaanites who threw their children onto great flaming pyres as a sacrifice to their god Molech.[2] History has not been kind to children. No wonder Jesus’ statement in the gospels is such a reversal of the ancient, wicked practices when he said:

“Let the children come to me, and don’t try to stop them! People who are like these children belong to God’s kingdom.”

The Incarnation is the reversal of barbaric practices; practices, which still continue to this day, but which will one day be abolished from earth by the power of the gospel.

So, on this day, we remember that our Lord escaped as an infant death only to be put to death three decades later. We remember that our Lord Jesus came for such as these; He came that little ones might have life and life more abundantly. As George Grant ably summarizes:

The Gospel therefore came into the world as a stern rebuke. God, who is the giver of life (Acts 17:25), the fountain of life (Psalm 36:9), and the defender of life (Psalm 27:1), not only sent us the message of life (Acts 5:20) and the words of life (John 6:68), He sent us the light of life as well (John 8:12).  He sent us His only begotten Son—the life of the world (John 6:51)–to break the bonds of sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:54-56).  For God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Let us Pray:

Most merciful and tender Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, on this day we are reminded of the sacredness of life. We are reminded that life is precious because You have declared it precious. We pray for the reversal of Roe v Wade. We pray that abortion clinics in this country, beginning here in Florida, be put out of business because of the prayers and protest of your people. Restore our society to a vision of life. Remind our culture that no one has the authority to terminate the life of the unborn. Do not forget your promises, O God. But be speedy to help us and to reverse the ugliness and misery of a culture of death.

We are especially grateful for the love you have given us for children in this congregation. May this love increase each day. We pray especially for the Anderson family as they seek the adoption of two little ones. Grant their cause success and cause us to care, love and protect our little ones and treasure their lives in our community, for this we pray through Christ, the giver of life. Amen.

[1] Grant blog.

[2] Ibid. George Grant

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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