On the Death—and Life—of Innocent Children
Image: IBL / Rex / AP
On the Death—and Life—of Innocent Children

A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted,
because they are no more." (Matt. 2:18, ESV)

We live in a world where Rachel weeps for her children. Where mothers wail and fathers curse because their children are no more. Where friends go mute, and bloodied children stand shocked, and a nation mourns, and a President weeps—for 20 innocent children in Connecticut.

One wants to say, "It will be okay. Order will be restored. We'll do something about this, so that it will never happen again." One wants to say this, but we know that it is not okay, that the restored order will be broken again; sadly, it will happen again.

This is why our hearts froze when we heard the news. Not only could it have happened here, but someday it may very well happen here. That's because we've seen it happen so often, going way back. It happened in biblical times at least twice, once after the birth of Moses, and once at the birth of our Lord. Sad to say in this respect, the Bible continues to be a very relevant book.

And not just as a mirror of tragedy, but also as a candle in the darkness. In both biblical stories, hope had been born long before the sword was put to the neck of the first baby. In the one case, liberation from slavery was already on the march. In the other, liberation from death. It seems to be God's way of saying, "While the stench of death overwhelms you, the fragrance of life is already wafting up. It may look like I am absent, but I have been with you all along. I have prepared a redeemer even before you lost hope for a redeemer."

The Innocent One

We stand aghast at the loss of innocence. Twenty children ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

SoulWork
In "SoulWork," Mark Galli brings news, Christian theology, and spiritual direction together to explore what it means to be formed spiritually in the image of Jesus Christ.
Mark Galli
Mark Galli is Editor of Christianity Today in Carol Stream, Illinois.
Previous SoulWork Columns:
June
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current Issue
Gleanings: June 2017 Subscriber Access Only
Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our June issue).
RecommendedPersecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, Christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the Roman Empire.
TrendingISIS Kills 29 Christians on Church Bus Trip to Popular Monastery
ISIS Kills 29 Christians on Church Bus Trip to Popular Monastery
(UPDATED) Egypt cancels Ramadan’s opening celebration as Copts resist revenge.
Editor's PickDo This in Remembrance
Do This in Remembrance
Participating in the “high holy day” of American civil religion is beneficial for Christians, so long as we do so thoughtfully.
Christianity Today
On the Death—and Life—of Innocent Children
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

December 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.