The sermon was followed by the baptism of 8 children, half infants and half older. In the context of the story of the magi, a concrete demonstration that God's interest in human beings begins much earlier than the world's interest. Babies a few months or years old are worth attention and grace, are people to be ransomed and counted. Just as the magi demonstrated the importance of the child with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, the ceremony today called out small people and showed they are marked for the Kingdom even now (and sitting through a crowded service in full dry-season heat, I could see the practicality of two of the three gifts relating to fragrance, to a seasoning of the smelly reality.)
Meanwhile the national paper today carried a cover story on child disappearances, relating the year's toll to the recent high-profile case of a business man who was arrested for the murder of a 12 year old boy in a ritual purported to buy him business success by the diabolical means of encasing body parts in the foundation of his new Kampala high-rise building. Witchcraft of the highest power requires child sacrifice. Again, not far from Herod's methods, the slaughter of young children considered a price to be paid for personal advancement.
The contrast sharp and starling: name the children and mark them by baptism, honor them with gifts and recognition, this is the way of the Kingdom, the way of the magi. This in stark opposition to abduction and murder of children by adults who would use them as expendable means to advancement and success. And while the undercurrent of human trafficking may be less tangible in the US, the sacrifice of children to the convenience of adults is probably worse, via abortion and abuse and neglect. Lord have mercy on all of Rachel's young ones.