i have few words as my heart sits heavy today. with the tragedy of last Friday still so fresh in our minds, it is hard to carry the weight of this burden. where is Advent in the middle of all this despair? where is the hope of the world when fear threatens to become part of our everyday lives? and why? God, why did this happen?
this december, darkness is overwhelming. it is real and cold and lonely. the rain pours down with our tears. we shouldn’t have to think, as we drop our children off at school, “it could happen here too.” we kiss them goodbye with more intention because even sending them to school is no longer a safe option. oh, this sick sad world. the beautiful faces of those sweet children and the women who so valiantly laid down their lives to try and save them…it’s devastating. makes me heartsick with grief for their families and that town. and yet, we bicker on–about gun control and mental illness and how we can stop this from happening again. i will not join this debate. out of respect for those families, whose grief is probably just becoming real as the shock of last friday wears off…it is insensitive to make this about anything other than the tragedy that sons and daughters and wives will never come home to their warm beds.
this world is full of suffering beyond what we can comprehend. thousands of children die of starvation and preventable diseases every day. we can’t help but question, “why God?” “where are you now?” but God…he doesn’t always answer our questions with clarity. sometimes, he gives us more questions. he wants us to know him and be still. he sent his son Jesus to be part of this humanity. to bring light into this darkness. it was dark then, and it is still dark today. and yet, Jesus came…small, tiny, crying. right into the middle of all this brokenness. he came to carry our pain, to heal our wounded hearts. into this fragmented world, where he would be mocked, ridiculed, hated and eventually killed. he suffered hard, even as a babe in that cold manger, where poor shepherds were the first to know of his birth. he kept company with the marginalized. he stepped right into the mess of sinners and beckoned us to come, follow him and love the least of these . he modeled grace and forgiveness and love exquisitely, even as he was dying. he came, and just that should satisfy all our questioning. he came and he is still with us. Emmanuel.
with Christmas only a few days away, we move forward with purpose. we remember and we pray that God will comfort those who mourn. yes, darkness seems stronger than ever this year. but light is still more powerful. so we light our candles and blazing fires. we enjoy the warmth of this season and the comfort and familiarity of our loved ones. we find strength in community and build connection to the broken. it’s part of Advent: God with us.”The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”