A Meditation for Rachel

“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.”  – Matthew 2:18

I hear the song when I reflect. In my head, not the jovial version, closer to the original.

The singing voice has a tinge of melancholy – that’s only right. It is not a song about joy, but a song longing for joy, wishing joy, conferring joy. A song sung in the midst of the troubles.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight

I hear the song, and I think of the children.

The ones lost to us, the ones from the mothers who were once filled with the same overflowing joy as Mary, who looked to the future with a gleam of possibility… but no more.

Because a crazy man wanted to snuff out Mary’s light, he cast darkness over a whole land.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the yule-tide gay. Next year all our troubles will be miles away

It is a good thing, isn’t it – the Light coming into the world? The Creator himself breaking into creation?

It is a thing of glad tidings of great joy – isn’t it?

But it is a thing accompanied by as much weeping and great mourning as it is with hallelujahs.

Once again as in olden days, happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us will be near to us once more

That is the deal, though, isn’t it? Great joy can only be reached by travelling through the great darkness.

That is part of the curse.

No harvest without the toil.

No new life without painful labor.

This place is fallen, broken, messed up.

The Good News arrives, and the innocents are slaughtered.

Someday soon, we all will be together, if the fates allow
Until then, well have to muddle through somehow


Ultimately, the light is brighter than the darkness, the life more joy-filled than the labor, the harvest outweighing the toil.

The good news isn’t that the toil is over, just that the comfort is coming.

Has come.

If only we have eyes to see it, if only we can keep ourselves focused on the true and lovely…

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.   The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”    -John 1:4-5

The good news is that the brokenness is a temporary lie, that the momentary loss is a shadow to eternal goodness.

The good news is that the curse is being corrected.

Until then… until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow.

So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Just my thoughts,



One response to “A Meditation for Rachel”

  1. Natalie Hope MacMillan says :

    Lovely, real, insightful… thank you, Sean.

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