T’was 11 days before Christmas

December 20, 2012

“Around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“This is heaven.” declared a small boy.
“We’re spending Christmas at God’s house!”

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their Savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring.
Those children all flew into the arms of their King.

And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

(This poem, written by Cameo Smith, honors the children killed last Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.)

We read in the Gospel of Matthew: Then Herod… put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under…”  (Matthew 2:16). Think of the children who stormed heaven’s gates shortly after the first Christmas.

There is much in this life that makes no sense until we have an upper story and an eternal dimension to what we believe.  The eternal dimension is the most important dimension of our existence.  It can make sense out of some of the inexplicable tragedy caused by evil.


Why Evil?

December 17, 2012

“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ ‘An enemy has done this while men slept!’ the farmer exclaimed. ‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest.”  (Matthew 13: 27-30)

The question “Where did evil come from?” has baffled spiritual and ethical leaders since people began to think and ask questions. In this parable Jesus implies two answers: “An enemy has done this” and “While men slept.” Edmund Burke told us that all we have to do for evil to triumph is to do nothing.  Jesus told us all we have to do is sleep.

Thinking and hurting people in Connecticut are joined with millions who are asking questions like this today.  The Scripture quoted above is as close as Jesus came to addressing these questions.

Isaiah wrote that there is as much difference between the way God thinks and acts and the way we think and do things as the heavens are high above the earth (Isaiah 55).  Moses told us there are secret things that belong to the Lord but the things He wants us to do He has made very clear (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Our thinking is flawed and God has not willed to tell us why He lets the wheat and the weeds grow together.  We must conclude that somehow and in some way it glorifies God to permit that horrible enemy to be here. Ultimately, we must leave these questions with our faith in the character of God.

While men slept” leads us to realize there are some things we can wake up and do to oppose that enemy.