Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 2004
Music: tune, PASSION CHORALE, Hans Leo Hassler, 1601; arr. Johann Sebastian Bach, 1729
Scriptures: Matthew 2:12-23;, Romans 12:15; Matthew 25:31-46; Isaiah 9:6, Psalm 85:10
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette's hymn is based on the passage in Matthew relating Herod's killing of all the male babies under the age of two to dispose of the newborn King of the Jews as prophesied to him by the Magi.
(Art: Rubens, Massacre of the Innocents)
A Voice Was Heard in Ramah (text)
A voice was heard in Ramah that could not be consoled,
As Rachel wept for children she could no longer hold.
For Herod ruled the nation, yet feared the Infant King.
How great the devastation that fear and anger bring!
O God, we hear the crying for little ones of yours;
For many still are dying in conflicts and in wars ??
In every troubled nation, on every violent street,
How great the lamentation when fear and anger meet!
Whenever one is weeping, the whole world suffers, too.
Yet, Jesus, as we serve them, we're also serving you.
So may we not ignore them, nor turn our eyes away,
But help us labor for them to bring a better day.
O Prince of Peace, you lead us in ways of truth and grace.
May we be brave to practice your peace in every place ??
To love each fear-filled nation, to serve each troubled street.
How great the celebration when peace and justice meet!