Two millennia ago in the little town of Bethlehem, Mary rejoiced that her baby boy had come into the world. As angels sang and shepherds spread the news of Jesus’ entrance into our world, it seemed like nothing could ruin this joyous night.
But a horrible scene unfolded soon after Jesus’ birth. Mary and Joseph were forced to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s cruel decree – every boy two years or younger in Bethlehem was to be killed. Precious babies were ripped from their mothers’ arms, and parents wept as their children were killed before their eyes. Gospel writer Matthew cites the prophet Jeremiah to encapsulate what these mothers felt:
“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” (Matt. 2:18)
Mary rejoiced that her son was born. Soon after, Rachel (representing the town of Bethlehem) refused to be comforted because her babies were no more.
Weep With Rachel
There were an estimated 511,000 abortions during the first 6 months of 2023, according to recent research. Though some states have banned abortion, that number represents a slight increase over last year during the same 6-month period. If that number carries over into the final six months of 2024, there will be 1,022,000 abortions by the year’s end. That number is in reality far higher with the prevalence of online abortion pill delivery services.
Let that sink in.
Over one million precious little babies, each of them with a unique code of DNA, were killed in America this past year. One million beautiful lives ended.
It’s easy to see the parallels to Rachel’s day. This year, many parents grieve losing their babies through miscarriage or stillbirth. They need comfort and support. Other parents, however, chose to end their children’s lives through abortion. Some of these mothers and fathers have felt the true weight of their decision. They’re weeping this Christmas season. Christians who love life and love each of those babies must weep with them.
Other parents feel no remorse for their abortions. Christians must share the Gospel with these mothers and fathers and pray for their hearts to be softened. We must pray that the Lord would rip Satan’s blindfold off their eyes. As Christians who acutely feel the weight of the loss of these babies’ lives, we must set aside a specific time this Christmas season to grieve for them and pray for the Lord to end abortion in our world.
If you’ve had an abortion this year or in the past, and if you’ve repented of your sin and received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, go to the Lord with your grief. Cry out to Him. He will draw near to you, and He will comfort you. Confide in a close sister in Christ, or if you’re the baby’s father, a close brother in Christ. Allow others to weep with you, especially those in a loving local church. Don’t refuse the Lord’s comfort as Rachel did in Matthew’s gospel. Receive the Lord’s forgiveness for your sin, and remember that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Rejoice With Mary
I was browsing news headlines one morning when I came across a peer-reviewed study about abortion in America. The paper concludes: “Our primary analysis indicates that in the first six months of 2023, births rose by an average of 2.3 percent in states enforcing total abortion bans compared to a control group of states where abortion rights remained protected, amounting to approximately 32,000 additional annual births resulting from abortion bans.“
In other words, over 30,000 babies were saved and born as a direct result of pro-life laws.
PRAISE GOD! What a wonderful gift! Over 30,000 precious little boys and girls were born and are celebrating their first Christmas. They are all in different life situations, and all of them (and their families) need care and support. But what a precious blessing.
As you weep with Rachel, rejoice with Mary. If you know someone who chose life, or if you were the one who chose life for your baby, rejoice! Praise the Lord that this precious boy or girl gets to see his or her first Christmas. Thank the Lord for these lives, and plead with Him that many more would be saved and born.
Celebrate the Savior’s Birth and Yearn for His Return
Jesus’ first coming had many purposes, but one of them was to deepen our longing for His return. Paul writes, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal. 4:4-6)
Christians cry: Abba, Father! Redeem our world! Cleanse us from sin. End abortion. Make us more like your Son. Help us proclaim your Gospel with compassion and boldness.
Jesus also came to destroy the works of the devil and redeem lost souls from sin. As we give Gospel hope and plead for little unborn lives, we get to participate in His divine mission of reconciliation. What a joy and a responsibility this is. With the bride and the Spirit, we cry from the depths of our souls: come quickly, Lord Jesus.
This Christmas, as you’re surrounded by presents and reminders of our Savior’s birth, remember the babies born and the babies lost this year. Grieve with Rachel and sing with Mary. Yearn for our Savior’s return, and eagerly await His coming. One day, He will wipe away every tear and make all things new.