If you haven’t heard yet, yesterday marked a dark point in our nation’s history. In Newtown, CT 20 children and 8 adults were shot and killed; all but one victim (the assailant’s mother) were killed at Sandy Creek Elementary School.
There are a lot of questions and a lot of grief and a lot of anger as people reflect on the lives of those who were murdered—most of whom were 5-10 years old. I am acutely aware of the sadness and are numb to the fact that evil can and will visit any corner of our globe. Let’s pray for the families who have lost sweet children during this Advent Season. I spent a few extra minutes snuggling with my 6 and 4 year old last night; I’d encourage you to do the same.
And in light of Christ’s birth as a child, I was reminded of the horrific events surrounding Christ’s first coming. Matthew tells us in his gospel of such a gruesome action:
Matt. 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
Matt. 2:18 “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.”
The one who was supposed to protect the innocent, murdered them due to pride and wickedness in his heart.
As the decibel level increased by the cries of mothers and fathers who saw their children murdered, the wrath of God’s anger increased. Yet we know how the story ends, don’t we? The wrath that we all deserve as murderers of neighbors (by casting an angry eye upon them). Liars. Adulterers. Thieves. Unrighteous. We know that the wrath of God welled up and was poured out upon. . .his Son. Let us never forget the death that Christ died offers hope for all those who have lost hope and cannot be comforted.
May we, with Israel of old, cry out, “Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus. Set all that is wrong to right.”
O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.