We are left speechless and any parent who has ever watched a child walk out the door into the world shudders and thinks, “That could have been my daughter, my son.” The tragedy of this moment rests not just in this moment of crisis but in every moment when loss and grief and death visit us without warning.
In the heart of Advent, we listen to John the Baptist who speaks truth this 3rd Sunday in Advent calling those to repentance, a “brood of vipers.” We feel his anger and pain. We identify with the deep need to stare evil and hatred in the face until it is transformed.
I listen today to Advent and Christmas carols that remind me of the Christ child whose purpose is the redemption of all creation. “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” we will pray in worship on Sunday.
May we bow this day trusting more than we know how that in God’s economy we are not alone; trusting that the One who calls us by name is working to transform evil into good. In and of our own strength we are inadequate to make sense out of this and every tragedy that falls upon innocent lives. So we ask for a measure of strength to lift our drooping hands and strengthen our weak knees that somehow, some way, God will redeem even our lives.
O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray. Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.
All of us.