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- Psalm 9
- Psalm 31
- Isaiah 52:13—54:10
- Matthew 2:13–23
- Large Catechism. I, 254–262
Today we celebrate the festival of The Holy Innocents, Martyrs. Threatened by the prophecies concerning a “King of the Jews”, King Herod plotted to find and kill Jesus using the Wise Men, but was thwarted in that plan when the Wise Men went back to their lands by another route. Angered and still plotting to thwart the prophecy, Herod had all male children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or younger murdered. We commemorate these innocents as a reminder of the depravity, brutality, and evil that can take residence in the human heart and of the persecution Jesus suffered even before His earthly ministry had begun. By the hand of God, Jesus was spared from being numbered amongst the slain, for His path led to a different death — on a cross at Golgotha, to pay the price for our sins.