Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more."
My Father-in-Law used this scripture (Matthew 2:16-18) to remind us this Christmas, not to take our celebrating lightly. For it came at a great cost. Not just the obvious cost - Jesus laying down his equality with God and taking on skin of a man. Not just Jesus taking our sin upon himself, and the night He came to earth to rescue us. But also the great sacrifice of others. It was a war time sacrifice -- not the lives of men given to save their country, but the lives of babies taken in wrath.
And because these women had a reason to weep, refusing to be comforted,
Because their children died,
We can live.
We can celebrate.
Yes, the cost of Christmas was high.
Let us celebrate in gratefulness, not forgetting the cost that our abundant life incurred, but grateful for the sacrifice that has made it possible.