Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take   the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for   Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." {14} And he rose and   took   the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, {15} and   remained   there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had   spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son." {16} Then Herod,   when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and   he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who   were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained   from   the wise men. - Matthew 2: 13-16

On the 13th day of Christmas, King Herod killed all the male children in Bethlehem and   the Baby Jesus was forced to flee to Egypt. Kind of a depressing way to end the   Christmas season and begin the new year. On Christmas Eve we celebrated the birth of   a Savior; the birth of light into a dark world. Now, the powers of darkness and evil try   to extinguish this light, and destroy the salvation. Jesus came to bring life, but Herod   tries  to destroy this life before it begins.

But, Herod fails! He could not stop the mission that began in the manger in Bethlehem.   The darkness could not extinguish the light of Christmas. The Baby Jesus escaped from   the evil, and continued His mission of life and salvation. The forces of evil could not end   the life of Jesus. Neither could it end the life of all those children. Because of Christmas,   from death comes life. And I firmly believe that from the slaughter of these innocent   boys  comes the new life in Jesus Christ.

On January 6, we celebrate the Epiphany of Our Lord. Epiphany means revelation, the   revealing of the glory of Jesus. It begins with the story of the Slaughter of the Innocence   by King Herod, which reveals the evil in our world. But, this story reveals the fact that   the evil will always fail, and the goodness of the Lord will always be victorious. As the   Christmas song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" says: "The wrong shall fail, the   right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to all".

My grandfather used to say that the shadow of the cross always hangs over the manger   in Bethlehem, because of what Herod did. The cross can cast a dark shadow of evil on   Christmas, until we remember that Jesus changed the cross from a sign of death to a   sign  of victory. Because of the cross, Herod's evil plan will always fail. Because of the   cross, the darkness loses to the light. Because of the cross, Christmas brings a Savior.   Because of the cross, we know that "the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace   on   earth, good will to all".

Pastor Ron