Political Advent Entry #2.

One of the worst horrors imaginable is when innocent children are killed. It happened again in the USA a few days ago. Why? Despite all the speculation, we don’t know. It was a very different but similar scene 2,000 years ago in Judah when every boy child under the age of two was murdered at the command of a fear-driven leader. Perhaps the element of fear is the same today. I’m not talking specifically about the now dead killer but about the society in which this happens so repeatedly.

A suggestion came forward that perhaps teachers should have loaded guns in their desks to prevent such things from happening. Really?!  Perhaps if we in North America were not so driven by fear we would not have to arm ourselves to the teeth to “feel safer” while we make our society ever more dangerous with the proliferation of guns. Another Facebook suggestion was that God would have intervened to save the children if God had not been banned from school classrooms. Really?! Perhaps if we would trash our belief in a tribal deity we would not have so many enemies to blame and fear. Perhaps then we could be more free to embrace the deity and the way of life revealed in the baby born in Bethlehem. The message of that day was, “Fear not for I shall bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all people.”

Before anything else, this is a day to lament. “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” [Matthew 2:18] We in the church often do not know how to lament, yet more than half of the liturgy in the Bible is dedicated to lament. When something happens that contradicts the way we know that God intends the world, we lament. If we do not lament we are in danger of apathy or taking things into our own hands. To lament is an expression of hope – hope that God is at work to make things right despite all the evidence to the contrary.