12 months. 365 days. An anniversary.
Today, here in our home I hear the laughter and giggles of little children. They paused the in their delight of Christmas season with a sense of being stunned that a year has passed since the shooting at Sandy Hook
Yesterday another shooting. I learned of it when a friend posted on FaceBook that her child was okay. I hadn’t heard anything because rarely is the news on in our house during the day.
The debate will turn to gun control and to safety and to…well, all the things we can focus on which we can feel some sense of control over.
Here’s the thing. We can’t control evil. I am not one to engage political debate on these pages, and surely not when I am trying to focus on Advent and the turning my attention, and hopefully bringing you along with me, on a journey toward Bethlehem. However, on the Anniversary of the tragedy in Sandy Hook, we have to pause for a moment and reflect.
These tragedies remind us that there is evil. There is right and there is wrong, and there is terrible, terrible evil. And it is beyond us to control it. We cannot sanction laws to make evil behave. We cannot, because we know in our own lives we do not behave the laws ourselves. The laws against pride and selfishness. We do not love as we should. We lust, we sin. And even in our very best moments, in our most generous moments, in our most true moments…we know that we are not completely true and good.
There is brokenness that betrays us when our minds do not allow us to think properly. Brokenness which causes our emotions to turn upon us, bringing depression and fears and anger.
In that brokenness, in that tragedy and in that sin…in that mess is where God stepped. He did not wait until we cleaned it up. He did not wait until all was at peace. And although we all have our own pain and our own unsteadiness, and our own imperfections…now is the time for us to share our song. The tragedies are still around us, and all oh we need to weep with those who weep and acknowledge that pain. And yet…we have the hope to share, we have the One who stepped into tragedy and overcame.
Now, in the midst of this season especially, is the time for us to rejoice and share and say that God has come…and he has not asked evil to behave, he has overcome. He has healed, he has made the way.
He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.
He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine.
He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.
He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.
We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!
Madeleine L’Engle First Coming