A new year is here and all around us things are changing. People are changing jobs, people are changing houses, people are moving to new places, everywhere we look people are moving, people are changing.
I remember as a young boy playing hide and seek with my friends when we’d get together. One person would be ‘it’ and the rest of us would run away to hide. The person who was ‘it’ would cover their eyes and count to 100. Then they’d shout, “Ready or not, here I come!”
Everyone would stay very still, not moving, not saying a word, hoping that they’d get the chance to race toward home and touch the tree or pole so that they’d be ‘safe.’
If the person who was ‘it’ touched you or caught you between your hiding place and the ‘base’ then you would be ‘it’ next. Never once when they caught you did they try to take your life, never.
But, that’s exactly what King Herod did when he sent soldiers to Bethlehem looking for the new born king the Magi had come asking about. When they didn’t return and let him know where Jesus was he was in a rage. He sent soldiers there to kill all the boy babies up to two years old.
We’d like to think that wouldn’t or doesn’t happen anymore, but it does. Children are being killed with rockets, guns, by starvation, and by disease all over the world.
On that day when the soldiers marched into Bethlehem no one ever expected their children to be in danger. Can you imagine the grief and the tears and the wailing? Can you imagine the pain in those parent’s hearts?
We all know there are children in danger today. We all know, but they are so far removed from us that we don’t think there’s anything we can do…or we ignore it.
Right now in our communities there are children who haven’t received a flu shot and they’re in danger of coming down with influenza and dying. In our communities there are children who are hungry, there are children who are being abused, there are children who are cold, and there are children without any parents whatsoever…in our communities and in the cities not too far away.
It’s a new year, a new day is dawning, and we can do something to help. We can buy cans of food and give them to the food pantry. We can buy a pair of gloves or a hat and give them to our churches to deliver to the Open Door Mission or Micah House or the Family Crisis Center. We can advocate for those children who have no one to speak up for them. We can volunteer in the schools and in the day cares and in our churches to make sure that no child has to suffer.
This a new day and it’s time for us to get up and go to work for Jesus. As long as we have breath in our bodies God still has something for us to do…and we should be doing it. There’s no early retirement from serving the Lord.
So, as we prepare to leave this sanctuary and go back to our homes let’s begin a new thing as we seek to live our lives more like Jesus and follow our Lord wherever he leads us.
Thanks be to God for his grace. Amen.