A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; She refused to be comforted, Because they were no more. – Matthew 2:18 (AMP)
At Christmastime, we usually think of the jolly things. We generally have fond memories and expectations that this year will be as merry and bright as always. Sometimes, it isn’t. Sometimes, December is hard.
I love nativity sets. They look so peaceful. Everyone is still and in their place with the Christ-child set in the center. However, these scenes don’t tell the whole story. There is a heartbreaking part of the Christmas story. The part that no one wants to see.
After the angels, the shepherds, and the magi, there was the massacre in Ramah. The evil King Herod was afraid that Jesus was going to take his throne and was searching for Jesus in order to kill him. Not knowing which child was the new Messiah, the king sent soldiers to kill all of the infant and toddler-aged boys in this small town where he knew Jesus’ family lived. It is difficult to reconcile this with the wonderful story that precedes it.
I think of the families who had probably heard the Good News of the Messiah from the shepherds and their overwhelming disappointment that this could happen. I imagine the devastation of their loss, their rage toward the king, their fear of what tragedy might come next. I think of the years of trauma that must have followed for these families.
It is this story that reminds me that it is a broken world that Christ came save. It was not a perfect, peaceful scene. It was chaotic, and bloody, and filled with tears. The people in it had been hurt and needed healing, wisdom, and peace.
Maybe you are struggling with your own difficult December. Maybe you are grieving or lonely, angry or afraid. Maybe this December won’t be like the ones you used to know. I want to remind you that your brokenness is why Christ came. You may be in what seems like a hopeless situation, but He came to be your Prince of Peace.
My hope is that you will allow him to take his place in the center of your scene, whatever it may be.