15 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.
16 Thus says the LORD:
Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears;
for there is a reward for your work, says the LORD:
they shall come back from the land of the enemy;
20 Is Ephraim my dear son?
Is he the child I delight in? As often as I speak against him,
I still remember him. Therefore I am deeply moved for him;
I will surely have mercy on him, says the LORD.
God, I am saddened by the kind of despair and weeping witnessed in this text. I worry for children, especially future generations. There are times I refuse to be comforted. I don't know where the comfort will come from. It feels almost as if there is nowhere to go, no out.
Yet it is precisely when there is nowhere else to turn, when we have come to the nullpunkt, that you say, "I will surely have mercy." You make something out of nothing, even faith out of doubt. It is like these moments when I'm despairing, and yet something else, a change in the atmosphere, some kind of beauty, lights up existence and the whole world is transfigured. Ex nihilo is not just abstract doctrine Lord, it is of the very nature of faith and prayer. You do this, Lord. Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on all who despair, on all who have lost loved ones, on all who are exiled, on all who have no refuge or safe place. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy. Amen.