The Joy in the Tragedy

It’s been a week now since the tragedy took place at Sandy Hook Elementary school and I think I have finally gotten my thoughts together enough to write a cohesive blog about it.  I’ve been wanting to flush out my feelings on it all – about my outrage, about my sadness, about faith & free will, about the media, etc.  There’s been dozens of ideas and trains of thought running through my head and I haven’t been able to put pen to paper (so to speak) about any one of them.  I’ve started and stopped writing several blogs because there’s just too much to say about this one event.

The Holy Innocents

The Holy Innocents

Like everyone else, I was shocked and sickened by what happened to all those folks, especially those innocent little children.  I can’t say anything more than what’s already been said in hundreds of other blogs, messages, memes, Facebook posts & statues.  My heart aches for the families.  My soul prays for them and seeks meaning in it all.  I know the world in which my own children are growing up has, once again, been changed in a dramatic way.

O Come Wisdom!

O Come Wisdom!

It’s easy to focus on the sadness of the whole situation, especially during this time of the year that is so centered around children and innocence.  But, BECAUSE it’s this time of the year, I find it almost easier and much more satisfying to focus on the joy that is in this tragedy.

How can we mourn for these innocent children and the other victims who are enjoying the ultimate Christmas in heaven with all the saints and angels?  They are no longer concerned about presents under a tree or seeing Santa or decorating cookies.  They are fully experiencing “O Come Emanuel”!  They are singing WITH the “Angels We Have Heard on High”!  They standing beside the manger with the shepherds!  They are dwelling in the heavenly Jerusalem with no fear of hate or injury or pain or sorrow.

For all of the victims, but especially the small children, they have been freed from the bonds of sin and death on this earth.  They will never have to struggle with temptations or broken hearts or sadness.  They remain innocent and as pure as the day they were baptized and they have been confirmed in their child-like faith, by seeing the Living Word, the Trinity, the realities of the faith they lived and loved, first-hand.

When we weep and feel pain about this situation, it shouldn’t be for those who were taken – they are joy-filled and at peace!  Our tears and sorrow are for those left behind who are living with their lives forever changed and for our world, that dwells without innocence and freedom from hurt.  And, when we ache for them, we should say a prayer that they are healed and find joy again.

They – and we – have to keep living in this broken and imperfect world.  But, that’s the beauty of the Advent and Christmas season.  It IS a season of hope and anticipation.  It IS the reality that that heavenly Jerusalem is waiting for ALL of us, that we will someday get to sing “Gloria In Excelsis Deo!” with those lost at Sandy Hook and with all who have gone before us.

I pray that you and yours will live in the hope and experience the true joy of this most wonderful time of the year.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas_Nativity_37

“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.  They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”  (Rev. 7:14-17)

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