Category Archives: God

Rachel Weeping

Matthew 2:16-18

Not the most pleasant of the Christmas passages!  Certainly not one we include in our cute nativity tableaux…

Yet very much a reality of life, as much today as then.  Angry threatened men (and women) still take out their fear and their need to feel superior on the weak, the fragile and the vulnerable.  People are still weeping.  For their children, their community, their parents – people they don’t even know.  Because suffering and destruction are their lot.

We hear a mothers cry.  The raw emotion of Rachel.  This is gritty reality.  There is no neat happy ending to this event.  It is just left as it is.   Sometimes we need to sit with the pain, the questions, the feelings of hopelessness and the fury – even the thoughts that God has brought it all about.  We weep with those who weep, because words are meaningless.

And yet…This is the world Jesus was born into.  The world he still inhabits.  That is the ending.  God is here with us.

Lord,
into the pain,
anger,
confusion,
questions,
terror you were born.

Into a world of cruelty,
greed,
envy
and murder you came.

Little seems any different,
many feel lost,
afraid,
and threatened;
whilst others bully,
intimidate,
cause pain
and death – physical and emotional.

 Into this world Lord,
bring your peace,
your hope,
your comfort,
your life.

And equip me to work with you.

Taken from my 2015 book Voices Through Advent and Christmas, available through Moorleys

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Luke 2:1-7

We were busy enough as it was.  All these people, coming home to register.  Just two more?  Well I suppose we can squeeze them in, but these are definitely the last two!

We had a nice life, settled, sorted – just going along.  But letting that couple in that night changed everything, nothing was ever quite the same again afterwards.

We opened our lives, and after what happened here, our hearts too – and somehow, without us realizing, God moved in.  Jesus came here.  How could things ever go back to how they had been?

New life was born here, changed priorities, opportunities presented, hope re-kindled.  And with that welcoming of God, came a whole rush of other people to welcome too…

Lord, your coming changes everything.
I thought life was ok,
but then you burst into it.
And everything is somehow different,
even when it appears the same.

You have brought your life,
your hope,
your presence.

As I welcome you
may I make room,
and allow you to have an impact
on what you find there.

Taken from my 2015 book Voices Through Advent and Christmas, available through Moorleys

A Christmas Song by Wendy Cope

I am very grateful to my lovely friend who shared this poem with me – acknowledging that Christmas isn’t always the scene of bliss and contentment that we are led to believe, but can be a time of pain and fear

A Christmas Song

Why is the baby crying
On this, his special day,
When we have brought him lovely gifts
And laid them on the hay?

He’s crying for the people
Who greet this day with dread
Because somebody dear to them
Is far away or dead,

For all the men and women
Whose love affairs went wrong,
Who try their best at merriment
When Christmas comes along,

For separated parents
Whose turn it is to grieve
While children hang their stockings up
Elsewhere on Christmas Eve,

For everyone whose burden
Carried through the year,
Is heavier at Christmastime,
The season of good cheer.

That’s why the baby’s crying
There in the cattle stall:
He’s crying for those people.
He’s crying for them all.

Wendy Cope