The violence of the past weeks in Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton, and other places in the world, brought to mind the horrors of September 11, 2001. I recall that morning vividly. It was a Tuesday, and we were scheduled to host our circuit pastors’ meeting at our congregation. We were all in shock. We talked, we wept, we prayed. Many of us called our congregations together for services of prayer that evening or the next day.
Three months later, we were in the season of Advent preparing for Christmas, and I scribbled some lyrics for a song I sang at our annual Christmas dinner. It spoke of the horror of Bethlehem when two year-old children were slaughtered by King Herod because they had the misfortune to resemble Jesus in His infancy, and their mothers wailed in the streets over children who were no more. We “celebrate” that day on December 28, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, a day of somber reflection in a season of joy.
The cross of Jesus unites humanity’s suffering with the suffering of God. Jesus’ wounds are our wounds; our wounds are Jesus’ wounds. He takes up our inhumanity into His own humanity, so that our humanity might be healed and restored to the image of God.
O RACHEL, WEEP NO MORE
A Christmas Song
Tune: O Waly Waly
A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more. – Matthew 2:18
O Rachel, weep no more tonight
For children killed, and terror’s fright
The Word who made them with His breath
Now holds them safely in His death.
A Virgin mother bore a Son
Whose death is life and freedom won
In whose sweet wounds, you have your peace
And warfare ends, and killings cease.
He lies for you in manger bed
With virgin’s milk His daily bread
He comes the Word, your ear incline
Mangered in water, bread and wine.
Dear Jesus come, and still our fears,
And wipe away, sweet Rachel’s tears
In holy war, you suffered loss
Embracing all upon your cross.
O Rachel, weep no more this night
A Child is born who is your Light
This present darkness cannot stand
Against the Child at God’s right hand.
©Copyright 2001 William M. Cwirla