December 28, 2007 - The Feast of Holy Innocents

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 52:13-54:10; Matthew 2:13-23

“Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 'A voice as heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they were no more” (Matthew 2:17- 18).

You know what Holy Innocents is all about, don't you? Herod, when he saw that he had been deceived by the wise men, had all the male children in Bethlehem, two years and younger, put to death (Matthew 2:16). What horror! Yet all this is in fulfillment of Scripture. That means, even when things look their bleakest, when it seems that man and all his evil is in control, fear not. God is always in control. Nothing ever happens apart from His Word.

His Word always does what it says. Did it not also say, “Out of Egypt I called My Son” (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15)? Rest assured, God's Word does what it announces, bestows what it says, gives what it promises — always.

Sure, that means some weighty things. It means suffering for the sake of Jesus. Just ask those Bethlehem mothers. Think of your own experience as a Christian. But it also means untold treasures. Just listen to the words of Absolution. Listen to the Word that God connected to Water and His command. Listen to the Word God added to bread and wine. If God's Word always does what it announces, always bestows what it says, always gives what it promises, then what a treasure! We can always trust His Word.

When, in Genesis 1, God said, “Let there be light,” what happened? When God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass,” what happened? When God said, “Let there be creepy, crawly things on the earth,” what happened? God's Word did what it said. It gave what it promised. Unlike our words, God's Word is living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). More than just expressing a wish, it accomplishes the purpose for which it is spoken (Isaiah 55:11).

That means you can trust God's Word. Though heaven and earth shall pass away, His Word never will (Matthew 24:35). And what does His Word say? “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them” (John 20:23). And, “As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). Also, “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54). And finally, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13).

If God's Word always does what it announces, always bestows what it says, always gives what it promises, then God's Word is our only hope. For God's Word always announces, bestows and promises Jesus.