I join parents from across the globe today who are grateful to be able to hold their babies after tragedy, and I join those same parents in being heartbroken and in shock over something so horrific happening to children at any time and place. As I sit watching the news and typing this, I have three babies asleep in my house, the Christmas tree is lit and sparkles in my living room to my right, and next to the tree sit the advent wreath and the nativity where Mary & Joseph watch over their baby boy. I see both the humanity of Christ and the divinity of Jesus in the nativity at this poignant moment today.
This week in advent is the week of Peace. In just two days we will take a closer look at the cradle & the grave as we look at the week of Joy. As a parent I wonder, “where is the joy for these families.” As a theologian (my professor always said we are all theologians) I struggle to make sense of this. As a Christian I am grateful for the grace, mercy and peace that our Lord provides for us in both the cradle and the grave.
Rabbi Praver of Newton, CT was interviewed by CNN and shared that there is absolutely no way to respond to this theologically with the parents awaiting news on their children. He shared that this requires of us time to hug the children and cry with the families. And that’s what so many of us are doing…we weep and we pray.
And there is where we find the peace and the joy.
Nothing will bring back their children. Nothing will ease the pain the parents are feeling. Nothing will change the hurt they will feel on this day every year. Nothing will bring their babies back for Christmas this or in coming years. But here is where we find the peace and joy.
We rest assured, knowing deeply that our faith teaches us and carries us to remember…Jesus weeps with us. Christ carries us. God loves us. The Spirit covers us.
Thank you, God, for your grace…for your mercy…for your love…for your peace…for your joy.
And thank you for your Son who came to be with us, to walk with us, to suffer with us, and ultimately to bring us healing.