Like most all Americans, much of my day has been spent focused on the horrible events at an Elementary School in Connecticut with a lump in my throat and while fighting back tears. How can any of us truly wrap our minds around these events or even begin to imagine the intense grief being felt by so many parents and family members of those who have died?
And what seems to make it even more devastating is that it has all taken place just days before Christmas. As I try to process all of the news footage and the graphic pictures of such raw emotion and terror, I keep coming back to the thought that in light of the tragedies of today, it is apparent to me that we need Christmas now more than ever.
News analysts and politicians will spend the next few days debating the issues of guns and school security but in so doing they will miss the main problem behind what happened today. Though proper gun laws and better school security may have a place for discussion, neither were the main factor in today's devastation.
What happened today in Connecticut wasn't a gun issue or a security issue, it was at its very core a heart issue. And according to the prophet Jeremiah in Scripture the heart is wicked. That's the real issue - sin. The governor of the state was right today when he said that, "evil showed up."
You see, the greatest enemy our country faces today; the biggest enemy our schools face today; the biggest enemy our children face today; the biggest enemy you face today is sin. It is sin that separates us from God. That's why we need Christmas now more than ever because it was Christmas that was God's direct answer to the main issue - sin.
Remember when the angel visited Joseph to tell him that the he was to take Mary as his wife because the child that was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit? The angel told Joseph that he was to name the baby Jesus (which means "Jehovah saves") because He would save His people from their what? From their sin! It was that very fist Christmas when God sent His Son into this world to ultimately die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins so that we could be forgiven. And when we put our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we became new creations.
Sin showed up at an elementary school in Connecticut today and the results were horrible and seemingly unimaginable. That's what sin does. The wages of sin is death - physical death, spiritual death and eternal death. But Christmas was God's answer to sin. That's why right now we need Christmas now more than ever. Yes, the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So how do we who know Christ respond to the horrific events of today? Without question we must pray for every person whose heart tonight has been torn in two due to the death of those they love. We must bow before the God of all comfort and fervently beg Him to, in a way that only He can do, wrap His loving arms around each person who has been personally impacted by these shootings.
But let's not stop there. We must be bolder than ever before to share with a sinful world the "Good News of Great Joy" that is the message of Christmas - the fact that God has sent us a Savior who is Christ the Lord. You see, in light of the the misery of the events of today in Connecticut, we need Christmas now more than ever.