You have heard the Good News. You have been to the manger once again. You have seen how the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Therefore, take heart. Do not be afraid. This treasure is yours! Although the darkness of occupation, division and hatred seems heavy, the night will not last forever. The wall will not stand forever. The empire of injustice and inequality will not rule forever. Violence and death will not govern us—not today, not tomorrow, not any day.
If it seems the path to peace with justice has been abandoned, if the treasure chest of diplomacy and ideas and solutions seems empty—remember that the manger of Bethlehem is not empty. Our treasure is in the manger. The baby has been born. And therefore our hope for a lasting peace with justice is with us still.
This message is an excerpt of “Birth stories: Our treasure is in the manger” by Carrie Ballenger Smith in the December 2016 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember the Holy Innocents, martyrs. The readings are Jeremiah 31:15-17; Psalm 124; 1 Peter 4:12-19; Matthew 2:13-18.