Christmas in Newtown, CT, is certainly far different than anyone in that town expected. The tragedy there is horrible and we should remember to pray for the town and for those families who have many gifts under their tree that will never be opened. And that tragedy, of course, underscores the countless tragedies which occur all over the world – and sadnesses that I know even are in some of our own homes because of losses – losses of dreams, losses of loved ones, losses that often don’t make sense.
These are not reasons to stop celebrating Christmas. The need for Christmas is not ruined by such tragedies. The need for Christmas is only made more obvious – even as the murder of innocent children under the wicked Herod seeking to kill the Christ made more obvious of the need for Christ to come. We need Immanuel. We need God with us. We need God to come down and in some amazing way that only He understands, carefully balance his holy threat to bring justice to a disobedient people and at the same time fulfill His promise to save them from their utter disregard for Him. As a nation, we mourn the senseless murders in Newtown. As a nation, let us also mourn our utter disregard for Jesus.
And so we come to worship Him again – not because there are no troubles, but because trouble has been swallowed up in victory. Death has been swallowed up in victory – for all who are in Christ Jesus. Our worship of God instructs us in our doubts and difficulties, strengthening us through our trials that we might obtain the great prize of our sanctification full and complete in Jesus – and our worship declares our faith in the faithfulness of Another, One in Whom all things are put right and will be put right – and His declaration through His Word and through His messengers, His disciples and ambassadors to the world to come and find peace – true peace with God and with men. This is the only way, but thank God there is a way, for He has made the way.