The day now past turned the white of the Christmas season to red as the Church remembered the 'Holy Innocents'. Herod rushed in and took the lives of the boys, row and under - and Rachel wept for her children because they were no more.
And she weeps still in places throughout the world: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine and many other places besides - but it's not just about violence or internecine struggles or fundamentalism; let's not forget the industrialists and the pharmaceutical companies and the may putting lives on the line through political scheming and shareholder dividends!
Today I sorted a funeral for one at the other end of the scale, almost 100, and celebrated a newly minted life, engaged in the most odd thing I thing I may have ever done in terms of passing on a blessing and had another encounter with things spiritual. The problem with sin and the powers that feed from it in all of its various manifestations is that it is like having moles. Mind you, I went to a posh church a couple of years back and found a member telling me how they needed a anew lawn every few years because of the moles. That is the problem with many in the Church today. Always far too happy to 'get a man in' rather than do it themselves.
Perhaps we've contracted Church and the sin of the world out to Jesus and instead of calling Him 'Lord' are now just calling Him 'Workman'? The whole point is that we do it with Him rather than sit back assured of heaven and eternity and Him stopping the drip under the sink!
So a varied and blessed day - the problems, like the moles, were dealt with where they were obvious and many felt better for having buried them alive (so we will see them again shortly I guess). But life continues to be a challenge and to invite us to grasp what we can, ignore what we ought and to work where we aren't.
Lord, for a day gone and the encounters within in it - I thank You.
For those bound by sin and caught in error, I pray you illuminate the dark places of their hearts and lives and actions.
For those whom I have been used to bless, thank you - and for those I didn't, sorry :-(
And for tomorrow - keep me humble, keep me honest and open the gates of heaven and give me the keys to the tool cabinets to get the job done.
And for the innocents who have gone - and will be taken: Give your Church to stand with and for them and to commend those we cannot save to your grace, love, care and mercy.