Today is the 4th Day of Christmas where we remember the children Herod slaughtered at the news of a newborn savior. And many are preaching on this story for the Sunday following Christmas Day. So here is a prayer for the Feast of Holy Innocents:
We come to this fourth day of celebration with full bellies and rich spirits. Our children have had their stockings hung by chimneys and filled to over flowing with material riches. Frankly it is hard for us to fathom a world where children can go hungry, live in the harsh coldness of the streets, and die in poverty. We confess that while this happens all around us, we are often too busy with our own self-interests to be bothered. Forgive us, we pray. Help us not only to be more personally mindful of the needs around us, but help us also to teach our own children of privilege how to care for those in need even when it means putting the needs of others ahead of their own accumulation of wealth. And may we be faithful in our service until the day comes when your kingdom is fully present among us — when guns will be beat into instruments of peace and no longer used to inflict pain on school campuses; when children will play on playgrounds that once were battlefields; and when your table of peace and abundance will be extended so that all may come and find something to eat. We pray through the one who came among us, to save us, as an innocent and vulnerable child in a world where children were also unnecessarily slaughtered; even Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.