On the 11th day of Christmas (January 5), my true love gave me … This??

1.  Here is the reading for the 11th day of Christmas, January 5th:

Matthew 2:16-18 (New International Version, ©2010)

 16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
   weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
   and refusing to be comforted,
   because they are no more.”[a]

2.  Here is the accompanying news story to set alongside the reading …


3.  Here is a thought to ponder, said succinctly by my African friend Carolyn Butler:  Those of us who have suffered our own grief, and most of us have, can choose to step into that space of suffering and offer the consolation of understanding, of empathy.  We can chose to become part of the circle of consolation.  And that is no small thing.  It is often all that can be done.  And it is often enough.

4.  Here is the question:  Did it ever occur to you before that the 11 pipers piping … were piping a dirge?

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