November 22

Jeremiah 31:14-16

“Thus says the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” vs. 15

Rachel was one of the revered matriarchs of Israel, the beloved wife of Jacob, and the mother of Benjamin and Joseph. According to tradition the defeated remnants of Israel were gathered in a vast company in Ramah, where she had been buried, before being marched off into exile by the Babylonians. Jeremiah imagines Rachel weeping at the sight and offers words of comfort. The Lord will not abandon them–they will survive and return. We have a sense of what those vast migrations of people are like. In our lifetimes we’ve seen millions of refugees gathered into camps and then sent from their places of birth to countries far different from their own. Certainly there has been weeping, not only from those leaving but from those left behind. And while some adapt to the places where they have been resettled, for many there is a longing for the land of their birth. They would love the reassurance that one day they would be able to return. But what was true for the Israelites is also true for the 21st century exiles–they will not be abandoned by the Lord! They may not be able to return, but we who are the hands and feet of God have been called to offer them protection and care. And many are doing exactly that!

Thought for the Day: How am I helping to care for refugees?

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