Third Sunday of Advent- a Time of Grief

What does one write about two days after a terrible shooting that took the lives of so many young children and the teachers and administrators who taught and loved them? Little else has been on the minds of much of our nation since Friday. How do we look forward to Christmas in the face of our grief and anger? Joy and celebration are not what come to mind.

Like the rest of us, I have no answers for the many questions that hang in the air, that bombard our minds. I think of the parents and other family members of the victims, and I feel overwhelmed with sadness at the thought of their brokenness and overwhelming grief. I think of the gunman’s family and how horrified and grieved they must be.

Like many, I can’t help asking why God would allow this. As I pondered and grieved over the weekend, though, I kept coming back to the thought that God is grieving too. That doesn’t answer the “why” questions, but it does show me God’s heart. He created all life, carefully and lovingly forming each child and adult who lost their life in Sandy Hook on Friday. He has told us over and over to love our neighbors as ourselves, that by loving one another we both express and experience his love. And he must now be grieving that so much violence was done to those he loves and that so many others whom he loves are torn apart with grief.

Advent is a time when we remember God’s gift of Jesus, his Son. He sent Jesus to live on earth to bring us God’s Fatherly love. Jesus lived, sharing God’s love and, in turn, he was violently killed. God knows the grief of losing his Son and he shares in the grief of those who mourn.

In Advent we are also reminded to look ahead to Jesus’ return, when “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17) We grieve deeply for what has happened and for the brokenness of this world, and we look for the hope that someday we will be comforted and all our tears wiped away.

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