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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"A Dark Beginning"

January 2, 2006

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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. Matthew 2:16

As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by the Rev. Kenneth R. Klaus, 2003

As we begin this New Year, we do so with a multitude of different perspectives. Some see this week as a time of renewal, reflection, and resolution. Others see the days after the heady sights and sounds of Christmas as being a return to the same old worries. We want to know: “Will this year be a time of bright hope or dark beginnings?”

Those who look for advice in today’s reading from Matthew hear that King Herod gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under. We just celebrated the birth of the baby Jesus. That was wonderful! This week we read this discordant and dissonant story of conniving, murderous Herod. He calls our attention to that which is evil, malicious, immoral, and malevolent.

Why does God include Herod’s story in His Word? Because God is honest. Search the Scriptures and you will see us humans shown as we are. In Scripture you will see rapists and idolaters, adulterers and murderers march through the pages and the centuries. The massacre of Herod’s soldiers does not stand out because his deed is so much darker than that of anyone else. It stands out because its evil is silhouetted against the brightness and holiness of the Savior’s birth. It reminds us to see the baby Jesus for who He really is: the Savior who has come to rescue us.

Let me assure you, as you enter a new year, Jesus Christ, the Baby of Bethlehem, can give you lasting, spiritual peace.

Jesus, always help me remember that all that is good in me is from You. Thank You for bringing me peace. Amen.

Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Promise (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).

Copyright © 2005 by Lutheran Hour Ministries

*The Lutheran Hour is the longest-running Christian radio broadcast in the world. It is a production of Lutheran Hour Ministries. For more information, visit

Today's Bible Readings: Genesis 4-6    Matthew 2

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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