Wednesday June 24: The 4th day of Christmas
The 4th day of Christmas is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, which is named after the Jewish children killed by King Herod in the years after Jesus’ birth. Today we reflect on the gift of children. We celebrate the joy they bring, yet balance this celebration with mourning over the ways they often become the innocent victims of violence and injustice.
- Write a letter to your children celebrating who they are. Tell them what gifts you see in them, tell them your favourite memories, and ways they have enriched your life.
Candlelight prayers of remembrance and lament.
8pm at St Aidan’s
- Many of us carry significant pain from experiences with infertility, miscarriage, or the loss of a child. Many carry pain and unresolved emotions from a decision to end a pregnancy, or offer up a child for adoption. These pains and sorrows often go unspoken and we feel like we carry them alone. As churches, we want our communities to be safe spaces where grief can be shared and pain can be held in collective love. Shamefully, the Church has not always been a safe place for children. We grieve this, and confess the evil this has enabled where love should have prevailed. Tonight the combined churches of the peninsula are hosting a candlelight service of lament, remembering, and prayer. It will be held at St Aidan’s Anglican Church, 89 Miramar Ave. Come for yourself. Come for your friends and family. Come for our children.
Day 4 Reflection
Reading: Mark 10:13-14
What do you want to be when you’re older? I wonder how you answered that question. How did it turn out? My children are counting the days till they can get a job, drive a car, go to university. They can’t wait to grow up. It’s like there’s something undesirable about being a child. And it’s an attitude even the disciples of Jesus seemed to have - what would Jesus want with children? Don’t bring them to him, they’re not important at all.
And yet Jesus rebuked the disciples. You see, Jesus welcomes children. He was never harsh to children. In fact, Jesus so honoured children that he even became one of them! And more than that, he turns to grown-ups and says - unless you change and become like a child, you’ll never enter his kingdom.
Did you catch that? Jesus says that while we are in a rush to leave childhood behind, there’s something important for following Jesus that children have and that grown-ups tend to lose. Maybe it’s their dependence, their humility or their insatiable desire to learn. The joy is that what Jesus is talking about here is within reach of all of us. We have all been children and by his grace he can help us rediscover tendencies we once had to more genuinely follow him - just like a child.
- What is most challenging for you as you consider the childlike characteristics Jesus is calling you to?
- What young people are there in your world that you could pray for today? Why not pray that God would give them all they need to be lifelong followers of Jesus.