Scripture: Matthew 2:16-18

There are no words to describe the loss, the devastation, the horror experienced in Newtown, CT yesterday as the result of one person’s violent actions.  Even in Scripture, the words can sometimes feel hollow, empty, like chatter buzzing at the ears but fails to enter because of the numbness inside.

This is Advent. In the midst of our Christmas preparations and parties and gifts and celebrations, we have experienced the darkest of the darkness.  This is not to make light of this horrific event–this is the reality we face.  We are called to be the light of the world and how do we express that light when there is so much darkness, so much pain and suffering?  How can we turn to Joy on Sunday morning when there is nothing but despair for so many?

We can preach about the resurrection, we can show how in the darkest of Good Fridays there is an Easter morning.  But right now, let us sit in the darkness for a bit in solidarity with those who may not be able to experience light.  The words of the prophet Jeremiah ring true for us, in this time of the rawness of grief: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation. Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”  For those of us who do not weep and wail, let us sit in silence, in the darkness with our brothers and sister.

Prayer: Jesus, who wept with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died, we know You are weeping with those who have lost loved ones in this senseless act of violence.  We know, like Mary who did not want to be comforted, You are with us, You cry with us, You mourn with us.  In this time of darkness, spark the light of hope in us again.  In this time of Advent, help us to find some way of experiencing Your light, even as we sit in the darkness.  In Your precious name we pray.  Amen.

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