Still, there is Christmas…
I wanted to write about the horror and the tragedy when evil visited Newtown, Connecticut. I thought of the parents rushing back to school after just dropping off their children for a normal Friday in December. Only to be summoned back by a terrifying phone call. Then waiting to see if their son or daughter would emerge from that building, and waiting and waiting as the minutes passed, their hearts sinking farther and farther into despair. Those images still bring tears to my eyes. The other day my son had an “Intruder” drill at school. When I grew up, we had fire drills, not “Intruder” drills. Beyond the politics, beyond the issues that might or might not have led to this incident, Christmas is still next week and I thought during this time we all needed a reminder of what Christmas is allabout.
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2He was in the beginning with God.3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being4in him was life,* and the life was the light of all people.5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.*
10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.11He came to what was his own,* and his own people did not accept him.12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God,13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son,* full of grace and truth.15(John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’)16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son,* who is close to the Father’s heart,* who has made him known.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.10But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savoir, who is the Messiah,* the Lord.12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,* praising God and saying,
14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!’*
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Merry Christmas everyone!