And Rachel Weeps (Matthew 2:13-23)
The truth of this story, the grim portion of the Christmas story that doesn’t find its way into the Hallmark Christmas Specials, is that Jesus is born into a world that kills children to protect those in power. And we ought not to look too far down our noses at these pre-modern hayseeds from the Palestinian boondocks either. We know all about how those in power seek to trade the lives of children in order to maintain a claim on political power. Flint, Michigan is just up the road after all.
Just because we believe that the work Jesus ultimately accomplishes is precisely what this world needs, we should never be so callous as to say that it magically takes away all the pain the world experiences. As Stanley Hauerwas has said, 'The gospel—the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus—is not a consolation for those whose children are murdered. Rather, those who would follow and worship Jesus are a challenge to those who would kill children.'