I’ve been up late tonight working on today’s Sunday school lesson. Today is the 3rd Sunday of Advent and the day we light the rose-colored candle or The Candle of Joy on the Advent wreath, so I’ve been working on a lesson about Joy and rejoicing. To be honest, I struggled
a little a lot with this lesson. Like the rest of the world, I’ve been bombarded with the news about the school massacre that happened in Newtown, Connecticut. I finally had to turn the TV off. I kept seeing news articles on the Internet and hearing on TV that authorities are “searching for a motive.” I felt the same feelings I felt on September 11, 2001. These were senseless killings by an obviously deranged individual, and motive or no motive, I for one, will never understand it. I remember after 9/11/01 and how I struggled to make sense of it all to my two young sons who were 8 and 11 at the time. How in the world could I help THEM make sense of it when I couldn’t make sense of it myself? I remember buying a book at their school Scholastic book fair called Understanding September 11th. We read this book aloud together, but after we finished it, I don’t think any of us understood that day any better. I think there’s just some things we won’t ever understand– hard as we try. Maybe we weren’t meant to understand them.
We wonder if we are safe anywhere. We hear lately of shootings on college campuses, in movie theaters, in a Temple, in a mall, and now in an elementary school. Innocent children massacred. It’s hard to grasp it all, really. God help us all!
But today, the 3rd Sunday of Advent, I will go to church and I will rejoice about the anticipated arrival of Christ, realizing that Christmas is almost here. I will rejoice in the incarnation; that God sent his son to become man and be with us here on earth. I rejoice as I prepare for His second coming. And all I can think is that this world needs a savior now more than ever.
I offer my sincerest prayers for the victims and families of this tragedy and for the community of Newtown. I pray for God’s healing presence and for his comfort in all those who mourn the losses. I pray for his Peace to enter the hearts of those who grieve. And most of all, I pray that we will all be able to once again find joy in our hearts and in our lives. God bless the children and God bless us all.