I’m sure that in the next few days and weeks, we are going to be reminded often of the sadness and pain of today. The grief and tears that Kyle and I are experiencing tonight must be a very tiny, tiny shadow of what the parents and families of the victims and survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Tonight I am heartbroken and it is difficult to think of Christmas in this context. I remembered tonight that the world Jesus was born into was dark like this one and frightening. He was born into oppression and poverty. There is this amazing image described in the book of Matthew of the Magi arriving in Bethlehem and seeing the star they’ve been following stop directly over the house where tiny Jesus has been waiting for them. Jesus was born into a dark and troubling world. He came as a helpless baby boy, a light, the light, in a dark, cruel place. And when Herod the king realizes the Magi are not going to return and disclose the baby’s location, he orders the murder of every male infant two years and younger. And Jesus’ parents get up in the middle of the night and flee to Egypt. I am not a mother yet and this is a kind of pain I cannot begin to fathom. The Gospel of Matthew echoes this pain: “Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.’” I can’t imagine the kind of terror and sorrow of parents that night, thousands of years ago, the terror Jesus’s mother must have been experiencing. I can’t imagine the terror and sorrow of parents tonight.
Tonight I am praying for comfort for families, for solace, for rest, for heavenly peace…because no earthly piece will do.