"... in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."
John 1: 4-5
In the midst of these Advent days we are startled, shocked and nearly overwhelmed with the news of last Friday's mass killing in Newtown, CT. The season of peace and joy is pierced clear through by thoughts of children and teachers, even a young gunman and his mother, all violently slain within minutes.
We know of such things; still our hearts newly break and the darkness seems especially dark just now.
I thought of words written by C.S. Lewis:
"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience,
but shouts in our pain; it is his (sic) megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
The pain of these days can rouse us to rail against the darkness, to say "Enough!" To call/write/visit our legislators and insist on reinstatement of the federal ban on assault rifles (i.e. the Feinstein Bill), to take new measures to limit rounds, secure background checks and close loop holes for all buyers.
All of these are would be a start in a country where there are 300 million guns in civilian hands and 80 deaths occur each and every day. In the world community we stand singularly in such a place.
Our railing will include confession; Isaiah's is not bad: "Woe is me. I am lost... I am a man of unclean lips and I live among people of unclean lips." Yes, we collude in creating an environment with too much overt violence as well as too few resources to meet the needs of those with mental illnesses and the people who love them.
In the middle of our Christmas plans we are roused by the pain we are experiencing. But we are roused, also, by the memory that God in the Christ Child entered into a world not wholly unlike our own. Even then the journey was dangerous, there was no room, and accommodations were dark. Still, God entered in, coming to be with God's people to become as one of them, to shine a light and show a way out.
God comes still in this fragile time of 2012. Emmanuel, God is with us. God breaks in and a great reversal of fortunes is underway.
So let us "rail on" against the darkness. Let us act now. And let us pray not only for those who grieve most in these Advent days but let us pray that we might be encouraged and emboldened by God's light come in Christ.
Rev. Linda Lea Snyder