Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 16 (John 11:35)

Jesus wept.  (NIV)

Where does one begin?  With thoughts of gun control laws?  With questions angrily hurled toward God?  With calls for security?  With outrage?  With confusion?  With fear?

It is hard to imagine anything more heinous, more evil than the slaughtering of innocent children in their classrooms just before Christmas.  It is a wrenching reminder that evil exists, not as an abstract concept for philosophical debate, but as a real force that manifests itself in murder, rape, theft, abuse, and destruction.  This is something easy to forget in a land of shopping malls and smart phones that offer up to us every whim of our hearts, treasures just for the asking.

In the unspeakable tragedy of the Sandy Hook slayings, we see the heart of Christmas.  God has never been under any illusions regarding the evil His children can willfully embrace.  For this reason, He sent His Son to enter into our pain and suffering, to take upon His innocent shoulders the just penalty for our atrocious acts.  We may blithely ignore evil, but God never has.  Yet He will not use violence to wrest from us our free will in an effort to rid the world of violence.  Instead, He sends His Holy Spirit into hearts, leading them gently toward love.  And when people reject Him to commit the most vile acts, His heart breaks along with ours.

O Lord, comfort those whose hearts are bleeding with unspeakable pain.  Breathe your grace into their lives.  Send them the peace and comfort of Christ, Who died in innocence and rose again that all of us might have life.  Amen.

Copyright © 2012 by Steven R. Perkins

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