It was a turbulent time in the history of Israel when Jesus was born. When King Herod learned of the birth of the “king of the Jews” from a group of traveling scholars (the wise men), he decided to massacre all the male children aged two and under in the region of Bethlehem. “Coventry Carol (The Lament)” describes this terrible infanticide. The lyrics of this haunting 16th Century Christmas Carol represent a mother’s lament for her doomed child:
Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young to slay.
That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever mourn and sigh,
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Here is the historical account in Matthew 2:16-18 (NIV):
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
As I reflect on this, I can’t help but fast forward to another turbulent time in history when the same “king of the Jews” was crucified on a Cross. It was for this reason Jesus came … he was born into poverty (a stark contrast to the perfect Christmas cards give and receive), lived a life helping and serving others and then went to the Cross for us. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9)”. This is today’s free download. Spend some time reflecting on what Jesus has done for you.
PEACE :: “Coventry Carol (The Lament)” http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/trevordick5
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