Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Forgotten Families of the First Christmas

I've probably focused too much on negative aspects of Christmas for a blog about family. That's because I think there are plenty of expectations for families during the holidays. During the other 345 days of neglecting our families, I'll be more positive.

But it's also because this is a hard season for many families.

For me, it's hard because I should be just six weeks from giving birth to our second child. But during the second trimester, the baby died in utero. I thought I'd worked through most of the grief, that I'd accepted it. But much of my grief has resurfaced during this celebration of a baby's birthday.

I also have some close friends who lost their four month old to SIDs this year. I'm betting Christmas isn't that joyful for them, either.

I guess that's why this year, I find myself thinking of the unnamed families in the Nativity story:
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
"A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled,
because they were no more."

-Matthew 2: 16-18

So when we rejoice with Mary and Joseph, let us also remember the children of Bethlehem, the children who didn't live.

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