The passage in Matthew 2:13-20 about the slaughter of children by King Herod is usually bypassed by most readers of the Christmas story. It is one of the passages which we would honestly like to ignore. We had rather think about the singing of angels, the birth of the child in the cattle stall, the shepherds, or the coming of the wise men. We want to focus on the joy, radiance, and beauty of Christmas. But in their telling of the birth of Christ, the gospel writers also pointed very clearly to the "beastly" element within the world.
“And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.” (v. 52b)
Good morning whoever is out there.
I hope you boys and girls are here this morning. Since I can't see you, let me know if you are actually present. (have the children touch and/or speak and/or sing) (Humor works, like have the children repeat something silly like, “Good morning fantastic, awesome, most highest lord pastor/teacher”)
I remember going to a Lent group years ago, where the priest gave all us lay folk a piece of paper and a pen and asked us to write down what we knew about Jesus. He didn't want us to write down what we'd been told about Jesus or read about Jesus, but simply what we knew for ourselves from our own experience.
I ended up with a blank sheet of paper, but one person wrote, "I know that Jesus saves me." That led onto an interesting discussion along the lines of: saves you from something? Or for something?