The events of this past week in Connecticut were more than sobering. They were a reminder to me of the darkness of this world. They were a reminder that evil is present and active. The Bible calls evil a prowling lion who stalks us and seeks to devour and destroy us. That’s what the events of last week feel like to me. Evil sought out the weakest of our people and violently destroyed us. My stomach still sinks and is sick when new information is brought out. Frankly, I have not watched a single story about the shooting. I know about it because of what coverage my husband has watched. I’ve chosen instead to just pray for those families and that community. I’ve chosen instead to ignore ALL the media about it and to pray for God to continue to show the hope that He has made possible to all people this Christmas.
Do you see it?
He is the light shining in the darkness.
Romans 5:6-8 (The Message)”Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.”
God didn’t wait for us to be ready. He brought Jesus, He brought light and hope and peace and a Way into the world when He was ready. That is the message of Christmas! That is the story of Advent. Jesus is our gift. He is our hope.
My friend posted on Facebook today the following:
“Consider. Copied from a friend’s post.
Newtown had taken down the Christmas decorations because they didn’t feel celebrating was appropriate at this time. “Bob Flayhart, pastor of Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama (#theBobbyFlay) said yesterday, ‘if Christmas is all about commercialism, then that is a completely appropriate thing to do.’ ”
“But if Christmas is about the birth of Christ, if Jesus really was born, and really was God, and if heaven really did break onto the earth with a mission, then we need to celebrate Christmas now more desperately than ever before. You see, Jesus did not come to give us pretty lights, and to teach us to act nicer, and to give us a reason to give gifts. He came because he saw clearly the unthinkable horror and evil that walked the earth,… and he came to earth to do battle with it.”
He is my Prince of Peace.”
This is a precious video that I just can’t stop watching. I love the simple way that these Australian kids explain the story of Advent. Their expressions, their joy, their awe are all present. Jesus loved little kids. He was always taking them into his arms and was always willing to stop and teach them, to relish them. He told us that the Kingdom of God belongs to them. The Kingdom of God belongs to people with hearts like this!