I am so overwhelmed with the Sandy Hook shootings. I keep thinking of what to say to you dear readers and then I just cry again. Of course, I had planned on writing about Christmas and all it means to us. Well, maybe I still can.
The answer everyone asks when something this tragic occurs is “Why?” “Why did this happen? Why didn’t God stop the shootings?”
My pastor on Sunday talked about this question too. And his reply was excellent!
We were created perfect in the Garden of Eden: In a perfect environment with perfect relationships between God and us and each other. But when sin came into mankind, it destroyed this perfect harmony. God still wants to give us the perfect world so in order to do that, He knew He would have to send a Savior: a perfect substitute for our sin, a perfect bridge from sinful man to holy God.
But there were many consequences to the sin that invaded our world and our bodies. And the first sin documented was murder. Cain killed his very own brother, Abel.
God, in His love for us, gave us free will. So humans have free will amidst a world that has the tension of evil at war with good. Remember this verse? “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8). When we remember this verse, we remember that evil is alive and well, working daily to infiltrate the hearts and minds of people to destroy everything that God made and holds dear.
And do you remember the verse that said, “Jesus wept.”? He knew He had the power to raise the dead but for God’s Glory and revelation to the people, Jesus allowed his best friend, Lazarus, to die.
Jesus wept then and I know that Jesus wept when those children died. I don’t know why He didn’t stop it from happening but I do know that God is God. And that God is in control. We just have to stand firm, “firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
So why can we celebrate Christmas now, today? Because God sent his Son to save us from the sin that is in this earth! And when we celebrate Christ’s birth, we celebrate all that God did for us and will do for us in eternity when the chains of evil will be broken and we will once again live in perfect harmony with our God.
And while we are thanking God for His Son, we must continue to pray for the Sandy Hook families. From Psalm 130:1-2, we are shown that God knows we have prayers from the depths of despair:
“Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.”
And as we pray, we are given great comfort so that we can then, in turn comfort others.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
May you have the joy and the comfort of Christ this Christmas…and everyday of the year.
P.S. This poem was just sent to my inbox. I thought you would be greatly blessed by it.
“Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“come now my children, let me show you around.”
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”
Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA