As I meander through my desire to watch every news station and read every article pertaining to to Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, CT and my desire to block it all out, the one constant in that thought-filled wandering is my need to hold close to the ones I love.
News outlets are producing names of the babies who left this world on Friday morning and my mind pictures little Emilies, Josephines, Olivias, and Jacobs, dressed for holidays, excited about Santa, family and church traditions, and the excitement that can only be produced by little ones of that age. I cannot imagine the grief of parents who were forced to return home without their children. My mind cannot conjure up the emotions of Law Enforcement Officers who had to deal with the immediate aftermath of terror inflicted on a community not far removed from our own.
What comfort can be given in such horrific circumstances? As we celebrate the third week of Advent; the week of Joy, what joy can we offer to our neighbors to the North? This morning in church, our pastor equated the grief we are experiencing to the grief of those that first Christmas who were dealing with the terror of King Herrod who ordered all baby boys born during a certain period of time killed in hopes he would find the Christ Child and destroy the prophecy of our Lord. The devastation those parents must have felt in losing their babies. Although motives are different, the grief must be a shared one as parents, both then and now, mourn the loss of children.
Seeing God’s plan unfold in the first Christmas with the birth of his Son,
His perfect life, and ultimate death on the cross, hardly helps our human minds see His allowance of this graphic and unthinkable horror. What purpose could God possibly find in the events of Friday? And yet, I find myself still convinced that Jesus reigns, that God is in control, and that His glory will prevail.
Just last week I shared with my sister-in-law that, especially in the last year with the death of a sweet friend, heaven seems so real and incredibly close to me. And I have to believe that the celebration of the birth of our Savior is sweeter this year as heaven welcomed 20 new angels. While heaven’s celebration must be different than our earthly celebration, I believe that Jesus is holding Newtown, Connecticut’s little ones close and that they are happy to be in the presence of the One who loved them first, knew how many days they would have on this earth, and has provided for them every moment of their existence from conception to their last breath.
“Weeping may last through the night, but JOY comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
The families effected by this tragedy won’t feel much joy this morning, I suppose, or any morning in the near future. But The Lord promises that Joy will come.
“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Believing in the promises this morning and this Christmas season, remembering that Jesus is King and believing that He has welcomed with open arms the little children to whom His kingdom belongs.