Where Is Egypt? (or, Thinking about the Holy Innocents)

If you are reading this, I’m going to assume that you’ve heard the news about Jordan Edwards, the 15-year-old black child who was killed by police in the suburbs of Dallas.

I’m all cried out.  (that’s why I didn’t write this yesterday)

If I were going to be in a pulpit on Sunday, I know this is what I would talk about it; this slow, slow genocide.

For those of you who follow the liturgical calendar, you know that Holy Innocents Day is December 28. I’ve always thought it was a real disservice to the story that it happens between Christmas and Epiphany. The story is told to us in Matthew:

Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’ When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through 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 are no more.’          [Matthew 2:13-18, NRSV]

If I were preaching this Sunday, I would ask the question…for Black families, where is Egypt? Where can they go to protect their children from Herod’s (the state’s) wrath? What happens if/when there is no Egypt? How many more innocents (those from marginalized communities) are going to have to die at the hands of the state before the state’s protected members rise up against Herod?

That’s what I would preach about. What about you?


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