Christmas: Hope and Darkness

133 people died because of Hurricane Sandy

Virginia Tech – 32 killed; 17 injured

Columbine – 12 killed; 21 injured

Colorado Cinema – 12 killed; 50 injured

Sandy Hook Elementary – 26 killed

According to the CDC 16,799 murders occurred last year and 1.8 million people called 911 for assault.

Another 1.8 million children and adults died of HIV/AIDs last year.

Two thousand years ago people were being killed, tortured, enslaved, hurt, and full of despair. Life hurts so much sometimes. It is full of grief and pain, but Christmas is a time to notice the wonderful things that have been given to us. The biggest and most wonderful gift of all was Jesus, the sacrifice, who came to die.

In all of the events of the last couple weeks, nationally and personally, I have been left to think about whether it is even worth dealing with Christmas this year.

Sixteen six year olds were murdered a couple days ago and my to do list involves party decorations and Christmas music. I have been thinking about the grief of the women in Bethlehem after their babies were killed. Celebration is the last thing I want to be a part of, but Christmas is about hope in a dark place. Jesus came to save the world and that is worth celebrating not in spite of the circumstances, but soberly aware.

As long as Christ is my center, I can see the horrible things in this world in light of the grace and love of Christ.

And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

 

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