By Dr. Wade Smith
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — There is a time for every event under heaven — a time to weep… a time to mourn… a time to embrace… a time to be silent. (Solomon)
We will always remember the unspeakable evil at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. Certainly, this has been a week to weep, to mourn, to embrace and to be silent. And today, we are in search of Good News.
It was reported that the townspeople of Newtown, Conn., “sadly took down some of their Christmas decorations and struggled Saturday (Dec. 15) with how to go on.” In 2012, Christmas joy has turned to heartache. Evil has turned “visions of sugar plums” to nightmares and gifts under trees have been replaced by flowers over graves. The book of Proverbs simply says, “The end of joy is grief.” In this season of Christmas mourning, we are in search of Good News. And while Santa Claus, stockings, and holiday decorations can be packed away for another year, Mary and Joseph continue on the road to Bethlehem. The night is dark, but a star is rising in the east.
As our grief progresses, we will ask questions, express anger and seek solutions to prevent anything similar from happening again. Many will ask, “Where was God?” Some may even doubt His existence. Others will blame God and question “His Sovereignty” in allowing such horrific acts. We confess that our answers and solutions will be left wanting. There is mystery and much is left unknown.
Yet, this much we know… 2,000 years ago in the fields surrounding Bethlehem, an angel appeared and announced: “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today… there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Christmas announces “Immanuel — God is with us.” In Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem, God breaks into the darkness of our world. He is “Light!” He is “Hope!” He is “Love.” He is “Savior.” This is the good news that we are looking for. It is good news for everyone.
Jesus tells us of a “thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy.” This “thief” continues to wreak havoc in the lives of innocent children and people. In contrast, Jesus says, “I come to bring life.” He tells us that nothing can separate us from His love. This is the promise and work of a Savior. We need a savior.
Christmas is the season of hope, peace, joy and love. The thief has robbed many of joy and peace this Christmas. Yes, the night is dark, but what if we could catch a glimpse of that eastern star? What if that light, however far away, penetrated into the darkness of our world and lives? Could that light spark something deep within — something called hope? And when hope is born, mourning and grief can one day turn to joy and peace.
It is dark outside. But, there is a star over Bethlehem. And soon, very soon, the angel will be announcing “good news of great joy — a Savior is born.” We need a savior. We need Christmas. We need Good News.
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