Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shock, Horror......Christmas

Along with everyone else's, my heart breaks for the parents and families of those children and teachers in Newtown, Ct. I cannot fathom the depths of their grief. There is nothing to say to them that will make a difference. I am in prayer for them.

It's not the time, yet, for political talk of gun control and changes in policies. It's time to mourn.

The nation is shocked.

And it's Christmas time. That the tragedy happened in such close proximity to this favorite holiday of children seems to make the horror grow. Christmas is about a baby, The Baby, who came to save us. We see it as a gentle time of birth and joy.

In the middle of the Christmas story, though, is a scene we don't often reflect on. The census is over, the baby has been born in the stable, the shepherds have visited. Two years have passed, the family has moved into a house and the star has led the Wise Men to Jesus.

Those Wise Men stopped on the way and spoke to Herod, king of Judea, who on hearing of a newborn king, went into a jealous rage although at first he hid that well. He learned that the baby was in Bethlehem.

Then he sent soldiers to kill all of the baby boys under two years old in that town.

Just think what it would have been like to be the parents of one of those children. Scripture describes it as "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." Right from the beginning, because of the evil Herod, shock and horror were with us at Christmas.

Christmas is the incarnation. God came to a willing virgin and had a son. He took a human body, deigning to live among us, share our weakness, feel our temptation and avoid sin.

Look with me beyond Christmas to the Cross. Here Jesus feels the intense pain of bodily violence and the spiritual horror of separation from God. The Father feels what it is to lose a son. So God has been here, knowing the loss of His own flesh and blood, his own beloved Child. This is a grief He knows.

Ultimately, we go even further. Past the Cross, we find the Resurrection with it's triumphant victory over death and sin.

Right now, we are at Good Friday, in the midst of the horror, grief, pain. Easter may feel like a faint and distant hope, but it will come.

Lord, be with all affected by this horrible incident ... the victims, families, investigators. Bring hope, comfort and help. Guide our steps as a nation. In Jesus name, Amen.


  1. At this point I cannot imagine these families feel any comfort. Thank you for reminding us that God truly is in the midst of it all.

    1. I doubt they can even comprehend the idea of comfort yet. I can't even begin to get my mind around what they are going through.

  2. Lynn McDonnell, Grace's mother says it best, "We have to live through Grace and all the children and realize none of the children had hate in them. We'll just take the lead from them and let them guide us." This family inspires me. Let the children's light guide us, just as the light of Jesus has guided us.

    1. A good perspective on the part of that mother. I hope it sustains her in the tough days to come.

  3. No, I can't fathom what they're going through. I look at my 10 year old, and my heart breaks for those parents.