This is what the Lord says, “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Yemen, Venezuela, Syria, Indonesia, the Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh: just a few of the places where we see children suffering under extreme conditions today. Closer to home statistics reveal that in an average class in the UK a shocking nine out of 30 children are in poverty. We look at our television screens, we listen to the radio and we feel overwhelmed by the need. Like Rachel weeping for her children we are paralysed by the enormity of what we see and the feeling that we are helpless in the face of such adversity.
However, in the next verses of this passage Jeremiah tells us God commands us to “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears for your work will be rewarded” and that ‘there is hope…your children will return to their own land.”
Let us not become victims of compassion fatigue and “become weary of doing good” (Galatians 6:9). Let us take time to remember this Christmas there is comfort and hope and it comes through a little child, a child born into poverty, Jesus. Let us continue to work and pray for justice here on earth in whatever ways we can so that the world’s children can know this hope, for in the words of Jesus himself “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)