Jeremiah 31:15-17 (NIV) 15 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.” 16This is what the LORD says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the LORD. “They will return from the land of the enemy. 17So there is hope for your descendants,” declares the LORD. “Your children will return to their own land.
Matthew 2:13-18 (NIV) 13When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” 16When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18“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.”
When one thinks of Christmas, it generally is a happy time, full of joy and festivities. Christmas carolers, Christmas parties, and time spent with friends and family, are some of the things that people look forward to during the holidays. Yet, this is not always the case for everyone. For, even during the holiday season, people can be going through hard or difficult times. For some people, the holidays can be a very lonely time; for others, they can be very difficult, full of shame and embarrassment. For others, the holidays could be a time of mourning loved ones who are no longer with them, or some people could be mourning lost hopes and dreams. We need to remember that within the joy of the Christmas season there is also loss, heartbreak, mourning, and hurting people. In our excitement about the holiday season, we often forget or turn a blind eye to those who struggle during this time.
So how do we address the hurts and loneliness that is felt during the holiday season? For starters, we need to remember where our hope is found. For in the midst of our hurts and pains, there is hope in Christ Jesus our Lord. We need to make sure that we keep our eyes focused on the real reason for the holidays - the birth of Jesus our Lord and Saviour. How can we share the hope that we have in Jesus with those who are struggling this holiday season?
Memory Verse: Jeremiah 31:17 (NIV)
So there is hope for your descendants,” declares the LORD. “Your children will return to their own land.