December 21, 2012 is gone and, despite the fears of many, the world did not end. Unfortunately, for the parents and families of the Sandy Hook victims, a big part of their world ended a week ago. Here in our hometown, a sixteen year old girl died and her friend was injured when a sixteen year old boy hit them in a tragic accident. These senseless deaths are magnified by the fact we are so close to Christmas. For many people, Christmas seems meaningless this year.
Christmas is a cheerful, frivolous giddy time, but the real Christmas has more meaning than the shiny secular version. Christmas is about a baby in swaddling clothes and the silent night filled with angels singing. It's also about a power that is bigger than violence and stronger than depression. We frequently hear that Christ is the reason for the season. I don't think that's quite correct. He is the reason. Period. End. In all times, in all seasons, this year, next year and next Tuesday, Christ is the reason.
The most beautiful paradox is that while Christ is the power bigger than evil, He didn't come to earth that way. Jesus became human in the form of a helpless baby in a violent world. He was born into an occupied country. He was homeless and poor. Shortly after He was born, in an act of domestic terrorism (or genocide), the leader of His nation (not the occupying government) ordered the slaughter of all male children under the age of 3. His parents fled to a foreign country in an effort to escape the violence of their own. Eventually, he died a violent death. He was not immune to senseless violence. But in the end, Christ conquered death to show us that ultimately, God brings good from even the most horrific events. We wait in joyful hope for that good. Hold on to the simplicity of faith in a baby who brings healing to a broken world.