December 30 – “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.”

Read: Matthew 2:13-18

The Bible reports an atrocity. The Bethlehem massacre of innocent children burdens the Christmas story with pain. The good news of great joy becomes a loud wail from young mothers in Bethlehem. Historians estimate the number of actual victims to be around twenty-five. Bethlehem was a small town of perhaps two thousand inhabitants. There may have been fifty children under two years old only half of whom were boys. But who can estimate the pain and sorrow of one mother whose son was ripped from her arms and murdered?

Joseph and Mary were forewarned. They fled for Egypt. Other families were unaware of the pending doom. Suddenly a pounding on the door in the predawn hours and screams in the village meant terror and horror. This Bible reading does not encourage a devotional feeling and does not answer all of our questions. If we are at all sensitive we are left in pain. We cry out “Why! Why did you have to let this happen God!” And the only answer we are given is Jesus. He is already heading toward the cross. Evil must be overcome.

Prayer: Save us, Lord, from thinking that the Christian faith is anything but a life and death struggle. The power of evil threatens to overwhelm us. We know that ultimate victory is secure. You have conquered sin and death through the sacrifice of the cross and the power of the resurrection. But we struggle amidst atrocities of all kinds waiting for Your redemption. Amen.

One thought on “December 30 – “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.””

  1. An eternal perspective is all that makes temporal life possible some days, isn’t it?

    As I struggle with both the painful stuff in my own life that I can’t make sense of and the burden of sin and non-sense that the greater world stumbles under each day, it helps me to remember that physical death is not the ultimate tragedy from God’s perspective — and we must all go through that door at sometime and in some way. Isaiah echos God’s voice, “My thoughts are higher than your thoughts and my ways are higher than your ways.”

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