Personal Faith Appears In the Face of Tragedy

Where were you last Friday when you heard the news?  The news of another school shooting…this time in Newtown, Connecticut.  This time, an elementary school.

These people’s Friday started just like every other day, and quickly ended in a way that is inexplicable.  The terror which gripped the small city of Newtown, quickly spread across our country like a wildfire.  Parents not knowing if they should go pick up their children or not.  Loved ones calling those they care about to say, “I love you.”  Moms and dads hugging their children in a new way following this horrific act, and they remember all of those loved ones who will not have that opportunity.

The media and others throughout our society have worked very hard to separate church and state.  The elimination of prayer in schools…those who want to take “under God” out of the pledge of alligence…those who want to believe in an America free from all things related to God…  When tragedy strikes, what do Christians do?  Christians pray, just as many within Shady Hook Elementary did last Friday.  When tragedy strikes, what do Christians do?  Christians stop to remind those in their presence they are loved, just like one of the teachers did as she herded her students into a bathroom stall.  She began telling each student they were loved and why.

As Christians, it is difficult for us to understand why such a traumatic event took place, but we have to remember what we have been called to do.  Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  We have been commanded to love.

In good times and in bad, we are to love.  As we enter the forth week of Advent, and eagerly await the birth of the Christ child, we are reminded of the unconditional love God had for his creation.  God knew we would do things which would bring dishonor to Himself.  God knew we would sin against Him and do great harm to His creation.  But he sent Jesus anyway.  He loved us so much, He sent His one and only son to live among us and die on the cross as a substitute for our sins.  So that for all of those who believe in Him, shall never die but live eternally with Him in heaven.

We pause to remember those who suffer today, and for the days to come.  We pause to remember those parents with presents wrapped and placed under the tree, who will not have their son or daughter present to open them.  We remember those family members who will not have a full table as they gather to eat their traditional Christmas meal together.

This Christmas, remember what is most important…Your PRESENCE means more than any presents you can give or receive.
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