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City children die over adult matters

City children die over adult matters

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19.DEC.08

Christmas Message from Bishop Sonny E. Williams – Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies

The joyous Christmas story is not free of its sad scenes. In the tragic account recorded in Matthew 2:16 – 18, we read of an entire village of baby boys slaughtered, due to the insane rage of a jealous King. The story reminds us that growing numbers of children today die needlessly for the sins of adults.{{more}}

Like Rachel (v18), mothers all over the world, particularly in urban ghettos and developing nations, weep over their dead children. Rachael, the wife of Jacob had lots of experience with tears. Her father tricked her fiancé into marrying her sister and she remained childless for years (Gen. 29:1-30:24). Later Jeremiah the prophet described her as wailing over the exiled tribes (Jer. 31:15). This is the message quoted by Matthew.

The weeping and wailing in Bethlehem must have gone on for days. It could not have been quickly silenced, nor could Rachel’s wailing be comforted. The babies of Bethlehem and the people in Egypt’s exile had a common bond. In both cases, innocent people suffered as a result of the proud, ungodly acts of powerful leaders.

Children invariably are affected most by the decisions and actions of adults.

Conditions relating to children continue to be cause for concern in many families and communities. Child abuse continues to exist and mushroom rapidly.

The abuse of children evokes many emotions and can create ethical dilemmas. Jesus can offer particular comfort to those who grieve the loss of a child. In effect, the babies of Bethlehem died because of Him. He must have carried the pain of that throughout his life and on to the cross. It doubtlessly shaped His special concern for children. His concern for them beckons us to find ways to serve children today.

This Christmas, let us honour our Lord’s desire; “suffer the children to come unto me” by redirecting ourselves to the promotion of the rights and welfare of children.

Children deserve unconditional love. They should not be made to pay for the poor choices and actions of their parents. We all can play a part in creating a safer, better world for children; be a role model and mentor to the many seeking guidance, or form community groups for various needs of children. These are just a few ways we can respond to the needs of children.

Matthew’s retelling of this slaughter is a very significant part of the Christmas story. In a powerful way, it reminds city kids today that they need not die in vain: Jesus lived and died for them, too.

The honour is mine to wish you on behalf of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies a Christ centered Christmas and a prosperous 2009.

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