Luke 1:57-66 (NRSV)
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her
neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her,
and they rejoiced with her.
On the eighth day they came to circumcise
the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his
mother said, "No; he is to be called John." They said to her, "None of your
relatives has this name." Then they began motioning to his father to find out
what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, "His
name is John." And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and
his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their
neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill
country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, "What then will
this child become?" For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
Like people around the world, yesterday I grieved as I watched the news coming in about the deadly school shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Twenty eight lives lost in one day, most of them young children who had their whole lives before them.
It is at times like this that it is right and appropriate that we should lament. We should lift up our voices, hearts, and tears unto the Lord and cry out for grace, mercy, forgiveness, help, and wisdom.
Like the people of John's day, we ask, "What will this child become?" We never dream that they will soon be in the company of the saints, standing before the throne of God.
So many parents will never know what their children could have become. We must hold these families in our prayers during their hour of greatest need. We must also pray for our nation. We must grieve these senseless tragedies. We must come together to mitigate violence everywhere it is found. And we must gently and sensitively share the hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ which gives us comfort in times like these...
Dear Friends, these precious lives are not lost, they are found in our God! And they are being tenderly held in the arms of our loving Jesus who has restored their joy and redeemed their futures...
For those of you who follow my blog, you may know that on Saturdays I generally offer a psalm from my heart. But on today, I simply feel led to pray...
Dear Lord, you hear the cries of mamas, daddies, sisters, brothers, and others who have experienced unspeakable tragedy today in Ct. As they sojourn through this deep valley, be with them in this dark night of the soul. Awaken your children to sit with them in sack cloth and ashes as they grieve. Help us to bare gentle witness to your unconditional love and resurrection power. Teach us to forgive the one who perpetrated this heinous crime and cause all of us to seek your grace and mercy for ourselves. Please grant us wisdom in this nation that we may come together to end violence wherever it is found. And may the love, joy, hope, and peace of the advent season, manifested in Jesus Christ, wrap the mourning in the warm and heavy blanket of your comfort and as their tears fall, use us to hold them up to you. This we pray in the Strong Name of Jesus, Amen.