Read: Matthew 2:16–18

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Matthew 2:16

The Bible does not flinch when it comes to addressing the ugly truths of life. If the authors of the biblical story were interested in providing us with a sanitized and pleasing faith story, they would never have included an entry about the killing of little children. But the Bible deals with the world as it is, and our world is one in which the innocent are too often victimized. This is not a word of comfort—it is simply a word of truth. We must therefore practice our faith and say our prayers and worship our God in an environment that is hostile and callous and violent. That is our task. There will be weeping. There will be moments when it feels as if our innocence has been taken from us. But, if we refer to the full quote in the book of Jeremiah (31:16–17), we find a hopeful note. “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for there is a reward for your work, says the Lord: they shall come back from the land of the enemy; there is hope for your future, says the Lord: your children shall come back to their own country.” The world is a harsh place—that is truth proclaimed by the Bible. But hostility will be overcome by hope—that is the greater truth promised in scripture.

When did you lose your innocence?

Lord, I would like the Bible to tell me that life will be pleasant and happy and carefree. But that is not the promise You extend to us. Life is hard, but Your love overcomes all pain. Innocence may be lost, but truth is never sacrificed. Help me to possess an honest and unflinching faith…Help me to embrace this world and my life as it is, and not as I would have it. In Jesusname, I pray. AMEN.