It is Christmas. For 12 days we celebrate the joyful news that Christ is born, that God is with us, that God became one of us. It is a rollicking season of unceasing merry-making and revelry from Christmas Day to the festival of Twelfth Night.

Or not.

On December 25, we celebrate the birth of the Messiah and gaze with wonder at this Child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

December 26 is the feast of St. Stephen, first Christian martyr.

December 27 is the feast of St. John the Evangelist, exile and prisoner for his testimony to Christ Jesus.

Today is the feast of the Holy Innocents, the children slaughtered by Herod in his mad bloodthirsty zeal to protect his precarious throne.

Merry-making and revelry?

Yes. And no. Our forebears in faith were wiser than we. They were certainly better psychologists. They refused to take refuge in false binaries, in one-note simplifications. They understood, profoundly, that we live between the Now and the Not-Yet.

On this Feast Day of the Holy Innocents, I’m hosting a quiet meal of celebration and remembrance¬†over at Grace Table. Come join hands and hearts and sit a spell?