Yesterday I was browsing Facebook in the afternoon after a morning of wedding plans and lunch with Adam and a close friend. I begin to notice the posted news articles about Connecticut, and the statuses about people praying for the victim’s families. I searched online, and I read the news story.
I student taught in Kindergarten. I am a minister to children. I have worked with children in a variety of settings, and children hold a special place in my heart. I am stunned that a tragedy of this magnitude would happen…especially to children and especially this close to Christmas.
Last night I gathered with my former Sunday school class to spend time together and go caroling. The words of “Away in a Manger” pierced my heart as I thought about the grieving families in Connecticut. “Bless all the dear children in thy tender care and take us to heaven to live with thee there.” Twenty young children went to heaven yesterday, and I pray for their families. I am not sure what to pray, but as I sang those lyrics last night I knew to pray and to keep praying.
We live in a world that is not at peace. We live in a world where brokenness is everywhere. We live in a world where awful tragedies like this happen. We live in a world where violence has touched each of us, directly and indirectly.
Yet, we live in a world where we can still experience hope, peace, joy, and love this Advent season. The greatest gift the world has ever experienced came in the form of a child, a baby, into our world in the humblest of places, a stable.
Immanuel….Indeed in all the chaos, pain, and confusion, and even when we feel alone and forsaken, God is with us.