Weeping for Children

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"A cry was heard in Ramah— weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead."

Matthew 2:18

The weeping of the mothers in Bethlehem provided a powerful illustration of the Old Testament image of Rachel weeping for her children (Jer. 31:15). It also connected the birth of Jesus with the prophetic hopes of the Hebrew prophets, who longed for the time when God would restore his people.

As I read this passage today, I'm reminded of the millions of mothers throughout the world today who weep for their dead children. Multitudes die from hunger. According to Bread for the World, 16,000 children die each day from hunger-related causes. Other children die from illnesses, accidents, and as victims of violence and injustice.

As we seek to live faithfully as God's people in this world, our hearts will be touched by the mourning of mothers for their children. Not only will we reach out with compassion to those who weep, but also we will work for a more just world in which children are valued and their lives protected.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How does the suffering of children in the world impact you? Are you doing anything to alleviate the plight of children?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, as I read this passage from Matthew today, I'm reminded of the mourning of mothers in our world today. So many children will die, even today. It's almost impossible for me to comprehend such suffering.

God of compassion, help me to stay in touch with the weeping of mothers and fathers in today's world. I confess that it's easy for me to hide in my insulated world. Yet if I'm to live for you in this world, I need to be in touch with the world's pain, even as you are.

Gracious Lord, move within me, and move within all your people, so that the suffering of children might be alleviated, and so that there will be much less weeping by mothers and fathers in our world. Amen.

A Note from Mark:

Dear Friends,

I would like to invite you to join me at Laity Lodge this summer. Several of our retreats are full, but some still have room. I will be present at all summer retreats, and will be speaking at the June 5-8 retreat along with Marva Dawn. For more information, check out the Laity Lodge website.

I hope to see you at Laity Lodge!

Mark Roberts