Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent in light of Sandy Hook

Tonight our children will be in the worship gathering with us, so I've decided to make any comments about what happened on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School very vague.  But I'm not trying to avoid it.  In fact, I believe all of us need to spend some time in deep reflection.  We should mourn, we should pray, and we should love.  And all of us should ask what role Jesus has to play with any of this.

The fact is, our world is very broken.  And it's not just the Adam Lanza's of the world.  We're all broken.  We all have a role to play.

I continue to fight the battle of moving on and trying to forget what has happened.  Each time that happens I feel the need to repent.  As Friday's events unfolded, and the facts of the story began to come out, my response, just like each of yours, was shock:  "How could this have happened???"  No answers.  I recognized right away that this tragedy impacted me far more than any of the others we've seen over the previous decade.  I guess it's a no-brainer why:  these were young kids, and I have children this age.  It could have just as easily been my children.

This tragedy impacted me more because it caused me to come face to face with the reality that as hard as I try to protect my kids and keep them safe, they are vulnerable to evil.  As a father, especially, this is very sobering, and difficult to swallow.

So what do I do with this reality?  For one, I turn back to the truth I know...

Just as we have had a role to play in the world's brokenness, so we also have a role to play in its binding up and being renewed.  The great news of Jesus is that not only did he come as a baby in the most humble of circumstances, he also lived the most beautiful, creative and free life that's ever been lived.  And not only did he then die a brutal and sacrificial death so that you and I don't have to face the penalty of our sins, he was also raised from the dead and is King of all things.

Jesus is not twiddling his thumbs up in heaven.  Neither is he fretting about what to do.  We see that in the Advent.  He entered into the mess.  Into the darkness.  Into our brokenness.  And he enters into it today as well.  He brought hope and peace then.  And he continues to bring hope and peace today.

Advent is the season of expectant waiting.  We expectantly wait for Jesus to enter into our humanity and brokenness.  And not just to enter but to do something about it.  We are reminded of that first Advent 2000 years ago, but we also long for that Advent today.  Come Lord Jesus.  We need you more than you realize.  Bring us the help that we desperately need.  Bring comfort, healing, hope & salvation.

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