The Christmas story is, among other things, about the preciousness of a baby, the potential, the innocence. We believe, that in the infant Jesus, God came among us – and gave us hope for the planet, hope of a life beyond this life, hope that in his second coming, the earth would be claimed, and deeded to him – and peace would reign. The Eden lost by the fall of man, would now be enjoyed. Paradise would come to earth.
Such ideas are considered the stuff of fairy tales. But some Christians – a few here and there – still believe. Intellectuals scoff. Angry men roar. Star gazers wonder. The faithful leap with anticipation and expectation. Angels sing. God Himself rejoices. Ancient prophecy is fulfilled. Hell is set on edge. But most, move through the earth, unaware and oblivious.
Kings in the east noticed. Pastors saw night visions. And Herod was moved to kill the child – to put him to death. Even in his infancy, Jesus faced rejection and death. The order of the death of the innocents by Herod is a dark thread that runs through the Christ-child narrative. Matthew says it was Rachel all over again, weeping for her children (Matt. 2:17). Rachel was the wife of Jacob, and is often considered the ‘mother’ of Israel. When the Assyrians slaughtered pregnant women and small children, even babes, Jeremiah declared that Rachel could be heard in Ramah, a few miles north of Jerusalem, and she was ‘weeping’ for her children. It was as if, she were timeless, out of her grave, moving through the land and weeping over such an unthinkable atrocity – the death of innocents.
One of the noticeable disconnects in our culture is straight-line logic.
What happened at Sandy Hook is deplorable. It is unthinkable. It is sickening. It is unspeakably evil. Little children, defenseless, brutally shot like a live deadly video game. The mind reels with horror – the running, the screaming, the innocent looks, the disbelief, shock and horror, the pleading eyes. And dead bodies are everywhere. It is Christmas – all over again. The dark side that we want to ignore; the global war against children. It is Rachel weeping – again. And we weep. We should weep.
But to insist, that it is equally brutal for us to willfully kill our own unborn, trapped in their own mothers’ womb is not something we permit as a part of the national debate. There, the unborn child also fights. There, the silent screams occur. How can we be so accepting of the murder of pre-birth innocents, not fetuses, not an impersonal glob of tissue – we now know better; and seventy months later, at the age of 5-7, call similar action evil? How can a logical mind dismiss such a natural connection? The difference is 70 months, more or less.
To make the connection that I now make renders one, according to the prevailing cultural sentiment, as crude and uncaring! What an irony. We are crude for mentioning it! Crude is what happens in the clinic. Unconscionable is our treatment of young women, also victims – of social pressure, cultural correctness, sexual libertarianism, boy-friend pressure. The prevailing view is logic on its head. It is insanity. The very culture of death, that allows – not the death of twenty children; but the death of more than a million annually, some 3,300 daily in the USA alone, 138 per hour is unthinkable, shocking. Around the world, in 2012, 41 million babies died, almost 5,000 an hour. Almost half of the US abortions are performed in federally funded Planned Parenthood clinics; you and I are paying for the murder of the unborn.
Listen to Rachel – weeping. We too should weep for Sandy Hook. Mourn for the children. Grieve for the parents. Say prayers. Send cards and flowers. Don’t forget them. But, we must also weep for the unborn. Those whose lives were not only cut short, but cut off altogether. We are a nation with blood on our hands. Pray, that as God did 2000 years ago, a child will escape – and become a national deliverer.
“And Mary wrapped him is swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger!” And angels sang. Heaven rejoiced. Kings bowed. And shepherds came. And even the stars seemed brighter.
Out of Sandy Hook, God. Out of the survivors, raise up a godly voice – a leader who knows from young age, that destiny is on their lives.