friday was horrifying. it happened. yet, it’s unimaginable.
i’m behind on my Christmas decorating. it took us two and a half weeks to get the tree fully ornamented. i can’t find our stockings. i just put up the nativity saturday night.
i turned on the news right before i went down to the basement to gather my garland and nativity set. people say to turn off the news. us tuning in sensationalizes what happened. it’ll make other people want to do the same thing. well, the media will report it whether we watch it or not. it’s what they do.
i left the news on. i could hear the stories, the speculations. there was mention of emilie parker. i jumped online to find a short video of emilie’s dad. he’s hurting, i’m guessing the depth of pain he doesn’t even know yet. but, he’s kind. he’s loving. he’s gracious. he speaks of his daughter, acknowledging that the way she lived wasn’t because of anything special he or his wife had done, but because of their Heavenly Father.
i continued to work on our nativity. i paused every few minutes to get a glimpse of the heartbreaking images. the crying parents. the running children. the confused law enforcement officials. was there reporting about the massacre? yes. does it deserve my attention? no. but do you know what else was reported? love. hope. Christ. God. those are things i don’t want to miss. those are the things the world needs to see.
where are people going for comfort? to church. and who meets them there? Jesus.
i unwrap the shepherd.
i unwrap the wisemen.
i unwrap joseph.
i unwrap mary.
i unwrap the donkey.
i unwrap the manger.
i unwrap Jesus.
He was promised.
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—
and He will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what He sees with His eyes,
or decide by what He hears with His ears;
but with righteousness He will judge the needy,
with justice He will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth;
with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be His belt
and faithfulness the sash around His waist.”
“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future He will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan—
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before You
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
You have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a Son is given,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over His kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.”
“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,because He will save His people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
Emmanuel, God with us. the Word, made flesh.
only Jesus can bring peace, true peace. only Jesus can administer justice, true justice.
turning off the tv won’t keep bad things from happening.
there is evil in this world. we are in this world. Jesus came to save this world. Jesus came to save us.
Jesus really is the answer.