With the joyous and beautiful story of Jesus’ birth comes a story of violence and death. King Herod sent soldiers to kill all the baby boys in and around Bethlehem in an attempt to eliminate the infant Jesus. King Herod, also known as King of the Jews, was afraid that this baby Jesus would grow up to take his throne and be the new King of the Jews. “A cry was heard in Ramah—-weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, for they are dead,” the prophet Jeremiah writes.
Another slaughter happened this week at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where a crazy person, much like King Herod, murdered 20 innocent children. A heartbreaking and most horrific event, which brings us face to face with evil.
In order for evil to exist, something good must be violated. Evil does not exist on its own, it is the flip-side of good. Evil is constantly there, independent of us, but it is easier to notice it, when young children are senselessly murdered. We all feel shocked, sad beyond imagination, fearful and violated by this shooting, because there is something sacred about each human. Each human is sacred and of unestimable worth. So there must be an ultimate Good that fills the universe and exists outside of us, independently from us.
Either the children of Sandy Hook are sacred or they are not. Either their murder shakes the universe or it doesn’t. Either they are just meaningless creatures that evolved in a cold, dark, impersonal galaxy, or they are images of God, lovingly weaved together by a Creator. AND if they matter, then every human being on earth matters, including those with special needs.
“O little town of Bethlehem, in thy dark street shineth the everlasting light. The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”
Jesus is the one who holds our fear, so that we might instead have hope
May the story of the first Christmas fill your heart with hope.
From My Family to Yours
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