The Christmas season is here. Most of us happily look forward to this time of year. We know the reason for the season is Jesus. This is a time we spend with our families and remember past Christmases and reflect on memories of those who are no longer here to celebrate with us. And yet, when we look around, we see there is so much turmoil going on in the world today. Disastrous weather, violence in our communities, wars in other lands, the list could go on. Yesterday’s tragic news of the mass shooting at an elementary school has stopped most of us in our tracks as we think of and pray for those affected by this tragedy. And if you did what I did, you thought what if this had happened at my child’s school?
I saw so many posts on Facebook yesterday of parents joy in picking up their little ones from school or daycare. That kiss or hug we got from our children yesterday was even more precious as we thought of those parents that received their last hug, kiss, or smile yesterday morning. I can only imagine the extra affection that was bestowed upon children yesterday. My heart grieves for those who lost a loved one and I especially grieve for them because this is supposed to be a season of joy and love. How do the mothers and fathers of the young lives lost get through this? How do they explain to their other children that their brother or sister is not coming home? Let’s not forget grandparents, aunts and uncles, and the other classmates. How do the spouses and children of the adults who lost their lives find comfort at this time? How do the teachers and administrators at the school continue their calling to educate our children? How does the community come together and rebuild from what they are now experiencing in front of the whole world? How do those of us looking from the outside help our neighbors?
The answer to all of these questions rests in our faith in God. We can only pray that as every day goes by, they will find comfort in knowing that God’s love endures forever. And yet, for some it may be hard to comprehend God’s love during times like these. Knowing God goes beyond what you hear from your Pastor every Sunday. Knowing God goes beyond prayers that others may speak for you. Knowing God goes beyond you being able to read and quote a few scriptures. Knowing God has to get to the point that it is personal between you and Him. You have to know the Lord for yourself. You have to know Him during the good times as well the bad. You have to be able to take all of your broken self to Him and ask for peace and comfort during a time of devastation and hurt.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3)
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9)