The story of the slaughter of the Holy Innocents not only tells of the cruelty we humans are capable of it also makes the point that the mission of Jesus Christ would be a shared mission. Yes, Jesus suffered and died, but he did not do so alone. From the very beginning of our redemption ordinary human beings would be caught up, often without their consent, in both the joy (Christmas) and the pain (Holy Innocents) of Christ's work. This is still the case. Throughout the world today Christians are suffering because of their faith and its proclamation - from the losing of employment to imprisonment and, far too often, death.
There are many Herods in our world today, there always have been and, no doubt, there always will be until Christ returns to bring in the Kingdom of God. But we should be wary of judgementally demonising the Herod of the Bible. Each time we spend or vote selfishly we are no better than he was.
Every four seconds a child dies because of poverty, hunger, easily preventable diseases and illnesses, and other related causes. Around 7600000 holy innocents each and every year and the number is growing. On top of this, in the last decade, at least two million children have died in acts of warfare.
We could stop this obscene carnage. But we don't.
We are all Herods.