Today’s post if from Rachel, a member of odc. Thanks for sharing, Rachel!
It’s Christmas and part of the celebration of the season is the singing of carols. I hear everything from the simple lullabies like, “Away in a Manger” to the traditional hymns like, “Silent Night.” The lyrics of the songs create a picture. “All is calm, all is bright” and “sleep in Heavenly peace” and “He will bring us goodness and light.”
It’s a sweet picture, but it seems so imperfect and incomplete. I’m sure everyone has heard the news of young children in Connecticut being killed at school. This is heartbreaking at any time of year, but seems particularly poignant at Christmas. Really, where’s the peace? The goodness? The light?
Then I remember the kind of world that Jesus came to and the kind of people that were waiting for Him. It wasn’t just hardworking shepherds on the nightshift. It wasn’t just wealthy benefactors who brought the money to put Him through Yeshiva school. It wasn’t all peace and light. There’s more to this story.
“When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: ‘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 2:16 – 18 (NLT)
An angry, jealous, power-hungry king who would not accept Christ massacred every preschool-aged boy in a small town. This, right after Emmanuel came. God with us? Really? How is this making sense? Why didn’t God stop it? Why didn’t He protect them? They were innocent.
Well, to be honest, I don’t have an answer to all of the questions that surround tragedy. The world is still full of pain and sickness and sorrow, but if we choose to embrace Christ, we can have His hope, and love, and joy, and peace in spite of our hardship and the chaos that surrounds us.
And so, we sing, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” and we choose to welcome Him in our hearts.