Reading: Jeremiah 31.15–17, Matthew 2.13–18
Reflection: Today is Memorial Day, I won’t lie to you, while in the midst of remembering the stories of my grandfather in Germany during WWII and fighting in Korea during the “police action,” I will be imbuing Memorial Day with new meaning. This week we will surpass 100,000 confirmed deaths from Covid-19. I am shocked and stunned beyond my own comprehension as to what that means. That’s 3.5 times the number of folks at the University of Kentucky and 100 times more than are at Transylvania. That’s four full Rupp Arenas, and 1/3 the population of Lexington. Mothers, fathers, siblings, friends, enemies, it does not matter; they have died. We cannot turn a blind eye to the tragedy that is unfolding before us. Needless death and suffering is antithetical and anathema to those who bear the name of Christ.
In the Church, we remember the Holy Innocents, the children killed by Herod in pursuit of the infant Jesus, usually on December 28th or January 11. It is on that day that we remember all innocent victims: victims of war, famine, genocide, and even plagues and disease. I suggest that we remember the Holy Innocents on May 25th this year as well. How will we do this? With prayer? Yes. With communion? No. With social distancing and a mask. If you love your neighbor as yourself, Yes.
A blessed second commemoration of the Holy Innocents to you.
Prayer: We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.