Dec. 18, 2012
My wife is a nanny and I am the children’s church director at our local church. We both teach and care for children on a regular basis. They are so sweet and precious. They say the cutest things and one can’t help but love them. When the tragedy in Connecticut occurred it was unfathomable how anyone could harm these little ones. My wife pointed out that many of their parents probably had presents under their Christmas trees that will now be a reminder of what is lost. How sad. I wish this never happened. I wish that Christmas could be a time of “peace on the earth and goodwill to men” unmarred by human tragedy. But how can it be?
When Jesus came to the earth there was a brutal leader named Herod ruling. Murder was one of his primary methods of preserving his throne. When he heard that a Messiah was born in Bethlehem he ordered all the young males there to be murdered. Bethlehem was a small community and the murder of its children would have scarred the town just like the shooting last week. Jesus came into that world and it was to stop that kind of thing that he came.
Much has been said about mental health treatment and gun laws but there is another much more important area that has been neglected, the heart of man. Man was not created to be vile and evil, but he is, because of sin. Jesus said that hating your brother was the same as murder in God’s eyes. He said that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves and that there was no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends, and as He demonstrated to die even for your enemies.
Men around the world and throughout time have committed atrocities against their fellow men. From Haman to Hitler. From the barbarians to the Bolsheviks. Yet in the midst of this horror Jesus offers the only cure. What if we followed Jesus teaching and eliminated hate in our hearts for our fellow man? What if we taught children that God is watching all that we do and that even when they feel helpless or unloved that He is there for them? Then perhaps the outsider in society could find hope and the hateful man could change through love. I know that nothing I can do can stop the hurting families of the Newtown disaster. But I pray that the God of all peace would grant them healing and that the special love of One who endured the horrible murder of His only Son on a cross might answer their hearts cry with the sweet touch of His mercy as one who knows what they feel. And further I pray that we as a nation would turn to the only true hope for stopping sin, the loving Christ who was born so long ago bringing the great hope of peace to a weary world. And I pray for, to borrow the words of the angels at Jesus birth, peace on the earth and goodwill to Newtown.