We live in perilous times, no doubt. At every turn, it seems as though there is an ever increasing occurrence of tragedy. Some of it easily understood and explained. But other tragedy, not so much. There is no question the tragedy our nation experiences in Newtown, Ct. has touched us all. Those young and innocent lives did not deserve to be visited by wickedness and cruelty. Each one arose for his or her bed with an exciting day of school ahead of them. They had dreams. They had fears. They had hopes. And they had more love towards family and friends than all of eternity will ever know.
At such a time, we may hastily inquire of God's whereabouts. Evil, when it strikes so pointedly, seems to be winning while God seems to be far away. Whether the tragedy is Newtown, Ct., or the twin towers in New York City, our nation is experiencing tragedy that we thought would never come to our shores. We seek answers. We push to pass laws. Our hopes and fears turn to the institutions of men as we react in anger and a sense of justice. Our pursuit is to produce a perfect world wherein there is no tragedy. Yet, the fault lies not in the desire, but rather, the means.
Mankind, from his beginnings, has struggled with his own sin. God, for whatever reason, has chosen to allow all of us to make sinful choices regardless of how they effect others. Theologians can explain it much better than I, and the theological reasons do make complete sense, but the explanation does not go nearly far enough to ease the pain caused by another. The only answer has been, and always will be, a deep faith in Christ! Since our forefather, Adam, took that first bite of the forbidden fruit, this world has been under a curse. God's creation has suffered not because we haven't come up with a solution apart from God, but rather, because our solutions do not include God.
The victims of Newtown will find it hard to discover comfort this holiday season. There will be unopened packages under the tree. There will be empty beds and silent steps scampering down the stairs in anticipation of the gifts piled high. There will be empty places at the table, one more piece of pie left in the tin, a stocking hung with candy and treasures still hanging untouched. There will be less noise and chaos, less sibling rivalries, less laundry, less homework, and less memories. There is no satisfying answer to the question 'why'. But there is an answer to the most important question, 'what now'. The Bible says, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, ..." (Heb 4:15) We have a Savior who knows how it feels to lose someone very close to him by the hand of wickedness. It was his only classmate. A class of two. Jesus, and John the Baptist. Jesus knows how it feels when innocence is lost. Countless children were slaughtered at the hands of Herod that Christ might be protected. He knows our pain. He has suffered it too. And the answer to 'what now' lies in the arms of a Savior who has felt it himself!