Holy Innocents Day . . . May The World’s First Martyrs For Christ Never Be Forgotten

Dec 28th

Oh my gosh!  I’m just about jumping up and down on the couch!  Ladies and Gentlemen, we did it!   24,000 page views in a year!  This is humbling, joyous and encouraging all at the same time.  Thank you so much for reading.  I will try to make 2014 even better.  Not sure how yet, but I’ll do my best.

Card Playing Day – I have so many wonderful memories connected to playing cards.  My parents played different games with us growing up – games that helped us learn to count, add, plan strategy, and learn sportsmanship.  Today is the chance to spend an hour or so playing cards with family and/or friends.  It’s really a great time of year for it – it’s a few days after Christmas, the busy-ness of the season is winding down, and it’s a good time to just relax, slow down, and have a little fun.  Card games have been around for centuries as a form of play and entertainment.  Yes, there are some people who are serious gamblers and see cards as business, but to most of us it’s all just fun and games.  Have fun!

Holy Innocents Day – I have read the story of the birth of Christ my whole life, and for all of that time my heart has ached for the children slaughtered by Herod, but beyond a verse or two, there isn’t much said about the murder of those precious children.  This is the first time I’ve actually heard of this celebration – as I’m not Catholic – but I was fascinated and touched to read about this day honoring the children lost to the viciousness of a cruel man.   A little bit of background for anyone who isn’t aware of the incident I am talking about . . . Heron the Great was the Governor of Galilee.  He was an Idumean Jew that history describes as extremely cruel man.  He killed several of his wives and his own sons when he suspected they were plotting against him.  Challenges to his power were dealt a swift and final response, and he even tried to make his cruelty carry on after his death by arranging that on the day he died hundreds of men in the area would be killed so that there would be mourning at his funeral.  His arrangement wasn’t carried out . . . but it did speak to his nature all the way to the last of his days.  During Herod’s reign the Magi, whose adoration of Baby Jesus is remembered on the Epiphany on January 6th, saw the Star of Bethlehem and went to Jerusalem, asking where they could find the new King of Jews.  When Herod heard that they were asking about the newborn King, he was informed that it was prophesied that the Child would be born in Judea.  Herod felt threatened by this prophecy and sent for the Magi, told them to find the child, then report back to him so he could go and worship him also.  The Magi found Jesus, but God had told them in a dream that Herod meant to harm Jesus, so they didn’t go back as they were instructed.  In the meantime an angel had warned Joseph to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt.  When Herod found out about the betrayal of the wise men, he became enraged and ordered that all the baby boys in Bethlehem who were two years old and younger be killed.  The fourth day of Christmas commemorates these baby boys, who were considered the very first martyrs.  Bethlehem was a small town, to it is estimated that there were probably no more than 25 baby boys murdered, but this was still a lot of innocent lives shed for no reason.  These innocent martyrs died not only for Christ, but in His place. The consolation in all of this is that these children were in the arms of God that day, and their sacrifice will be remembered and honored forever.

This Day In History

1869 – William F. Semple patented chewing gum.  

Food Celebration of the Day

National Chocolate Day – The Hershey Co. got its start making chocolate coating for caramels in 1894. It wasn’t until 1900 that Hershey introduced the now-legendary milk chocolate bar.  Normally chocolate would sound delicious to me . . . but I’ve had so much sweet stuff lately that honestly I just can’t abide the thought right now.  Maybe in a few weeks it will sound good.  Hey! Think of all the calories I’ll save!

I always like it when I learn something new, and today I feel pretty good to find out that the innocent children slaughtered by King Herod are not only remembered but honored even after all of these centuries.  Today play with your children, appreciate that they are with you, alive and well.  Be grateful we live in a time and place where we don’t dread someone storming into our homes and slaughtering our children . . . yet.  Tyranny will always be around the corner as a possibility.  Sad and scary thing to keep in mind, but necessary if we don’t wish history to repeat itself in a variety of cruel and horrible ways.  We The People have the power to keep it from happening, something the parents in the day of Herod didn’t have.  Sober thoughts on this Saturday, but sometimes they are unavoidable.  Hug your kids today.  Play cards with them and enjoy a bite of chocolate while you’re at it.  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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