The Children of Bethlehem

While preparing for my next sermon I read up on the text about the Magis or Wise men that visited Jesus in Bethlehem. The story reads like a legend, but if you read up on it, most facts in it can be verified. There really were such a thing like Magis – they were priests in Persia. At the time the ancient world really was filled with rumors about a coming universal king – even Roman historians wrote about it. There could have been a star – several celestial phenomenons occurred around that time. Herod was indeed very suspicious and capable of murder – he had already murdered his wife and two of his own sons. The only thing that is hard to verify is that children were murdered in the town of Bethlehem. Outside the Bible there is no mention of a massacre taking place. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The same thing is happening in our day and age. Every day thousands of children die without newspapers writing about it. Children getting killed is most of the time not headline news. If there is nothing else going on newspapers might write a few line about children killed by car bombs in Syria or land mines in Afghanistan. Most deaths go unnoticed. The shooting in Newtown were 20 children got killed was an exception. Because the massacre took place in America we got to know the children’s names and see their photographs. Had the massacre occurred in Congo that simply wouldn’t have happened. Don’t get me wrong. The response to what happened in Newtown was extremely appropriate. Every time children die as a result of violence it should be reported all over the world! Their pictures should be shown on every front-page and on every news channel. It should be head line news every time because children are not supposed to be shot or killed in explosions. Every time it happens it is a tragedy that concerns everybody. It shouldn’t matter where it happened – but it does. Sadly, the children of Bethlehem are not alone.