The reading for the First Sunday of Christmas is the story of the slaughter of the innocents in Matthew. There was a time when the lectionary did not include this story, but wiser heads prevailed and it now comes up every three years. I say wiser heads because the world does not need sanitized Christianity, but a faith that tells the truth about human sinfulness, and thus offers genuine salvation.
I’ve already posted an alert on the church Facebook page for those parents who prefer that their kids not hear this story yet. But not everyone is on the page, so please share this information with those you think might benefit. Here is a link to a good discussion on how to talk to kids: https://www.gospelproject.com/2013/06/19/are-bible-stories-too-violent-for-children/ I don’t share some of the literalism of the writers on this site, but much appreciate their insight and advice.
Some of you may be wondering why we can’t just have a New Year’s celebration and avoid this dark story, and believe me, I was tempted. But after some prayerful thought, I decided to trust the Church Calendar, which insists that it is still Christmas, and that the Christmas story is multidimensional and rich with truth.
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 63:7-9; Psalm 148; Hebrews 2:10-18; Matthew 2:13-23.
The prayer list can be found here.