Heartfelt hurt and comfort
I had the opporunity to substitute teach in an elementary school this past week. This experience brought me closer to the tragedy in Newtown, somewhat unexpectedly. I felt the hurt and pain for the children, parents, friends and community in an up close and personal way.
I turned to a couple of my favorite writers, Max Lucado and John Eldredge for their thoughts on the evil act that shattered lives and the ripple effects that have touched people all over our country. John Eldredge's last two blogposts reminded me that I should not be surprised by evil. I encourage you to read them.
Max Lucado offered this prayer, one which I've prayed several times in the last few days. I pray that it comforts you this Christmas. To me it speaks of a reality that exists in our world, one that has existed since the beginning of time; Evil continues to live on and demonstrates to us the dark side of humanity, yet there is hope. Press into the hope this Christmas and rest in the fact that He is in control. Proverbs 3:5-6
It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.
Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
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Vic and Monique
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