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Friday, December 21, 2012

Cancel Christmas?

Christmas, the time for comfort and joy, has become clouded in grief as our nation considers the tragedy surrounding the school shooting in Conneticut.  As mourning families bury their young children, many ask where was God?  If He is a loving God, then why didn't He intervene?  As one grieving resident in the small town said, "Christmas has been cancelled."

Every talking head seems to have an answer for the problems that plague our nation:

What about increasing funding for mental institutions?  More surviellance, programs,and medications could potentially keep lunatics from shooting children in schools. 

Others advocate gun control. Will a law prevent guns from getting into the hands of the evil, deranged people?   Or is better to put the guns in the hands of every teacher?

What about prayer in schools?  Is Huckabee right?  How dare we, ask where is God in the school tragedy when America has shut God out of everything in the classroom.  Although Huckabee's response should cause introspection, it is still incomplete.  Legislation cannot keep God out of schools--He's already there.

Here's another issue to ponder?  What about the silent death of over 3500 innocent unborn children in our country every day that many call an American holocaust?  We seldom hear anyone in the media mention the abortion crisis in our nation.

Christmas day twenty years ago, our surgical team labored to save the lives of five innocent children killed in a drive by shooting. Several weeks ago I had to tell a mother suffering with metastatic gastric cancer, that she would be leaving her husband and three teenage boys this Christmas. It's hard to understand why such tragedies occur. I have concluded that we will never understand on this side of heaven exactly why evil and suffering are allowed to exist.

Centuries ago, Herod the great tried to cancel the first Christmas.  He decieved, lied and ultimately murdered many innocent children trying to suppress God's will.  Motivated by pride and power, Herod ordered a massacre of all the boy toddlers in Bethlehem, attempting to stop the coming of the Christ.  Yet even Herod's schemes could not cancel Christmas.

God knew in eternity past the events surrounding the first Christmas,  prophecying six hundred years earlier that the massacre would occur.  He could have given us a political answer.  He could have stopped Herod's mass murdering of innocent children just as easily as He could have prevented the school tragedy in Conneticut.  Yet, He didn't!   Why?

God had a solution far more comprehensive than any remedy mankind could imagine.  God's solution did not involve politics, policies or programs. His answer was a Person, wrapped in swaddling clothes, sleeping in a manger.

Despite opposition, God brought the remedy to our world--personally.  The plan, materialized at the birth of Jesus, would ultimately deal with all evil and sin in the the human heart.  True reform must begin with a change of heart.  Through the suffering and death of his innocent Son, God provided a remedy for evil, giving purpose to suffering, meaning for life, and hope for the future. 

Like watching the scenes unfold in a movie, we must remember that we are somewhere in the middle of this eternal drama. When the curtain of history closes, the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of God, all evil will we squelched and peace on earth will be established.  Everyone will confess that history was "His story."  For believers--when the roll is called up yonder--We win!

Although it's been tried many times, many ways over the past two millenia, Christmas cannot be canceled.  Nothing can suppress God's plan to defeat evil, bring hope, offer forgiveness, provide purpose and establish real peace in our world.  There is nothing that can cancel Christmas.

O come Emmanuel.

1 comment:

  1. Your posts inspire me to do research and energizes my creativity; you make me want to work, to write. Have you seen the presentation/film/DVD entitled 'Star of Bethlehem'? It coincides with your statement that God already knows all events that have and will take place. If everything is predetermined, does that negate our ability to choose? Re: Huckabee's speech, yes, God is still there, but without prayer, without a pledge to the flag, impressionable youngsters have less concept of who He is, much less taking pride in defending the flag and loving our country. If they don't go to church, how do they learn about Jesus or God? Mental institutional funding? A friend of mine teaches mentally challenged children in a Texas school. Most of these children are wheelchair-bound, none are high-functioning individuals. My friend admits they should be in an institution. Parents of these children want them to be in school to learn the same as any other child. None of these children will ever retain any of what they are taught day to day. Many of them get frustrated and are violent when they do. What are the parent's purpose for sending these children to school? Gun control? Oklahoma just passed a law allowing folks to wear their weapons. We can legislate and limit guns and ammo, but "where there's a will, there's a way" to obtain whatever one wants, be it guns, ammo, drugs, people. Once we begin limiting, where does that stop? Medication? More prescription drugs are abused in our country than alcohol or illegal drugs. Surveillance? There are covert devices that can detect presence via thermal scans. So much for staying out of the bedroom. I have many more questions and comments (just your luck!) but I'm running out of room! Christmas will never be cancelled, but only if there are enough of us who know of God and Jesus, who believe in Him, and who have faith that there will always be someone who keeps the faith, knowledge and belief alive. At this time in our country, politics are a leading factor in what is discussed and decided. Our government continues to be divisive, unyielding; almost autonomous. The current administration wants more programs, committees, departments, more government, more federal government. This approach takes power away from the local area and the states. We have less control over what happens in our schools, our churches, our hospitals, our banks, our courthouses, our highways. We are all shocked by what happened in Newtown, Ct. How did this young man obtain the sniper rifle he had? His mother knew he needed help, but she had not taken him to see a doctor, put him on medication or institutionalized him. Why not? This is the same scenario as the young man who shot people in the theatre, the young man who shot students at University, and the young man who shot people in the gathering in Arizona for Ms Giffords. Yes, everyone wants to express their opinion as what should be done in these situations, but the question, to me, seems to be who will take responsibility? Who will be responsible enough to give their children the care they need, the meds they need. Who will be responsible enough to take care of weapons they have, purchase them correctly, buy locks for them, keep them away from children, but also teach their children about those weapons and the danger that surrounds them. How many of us will stand up for prayer and the pledge in schools? How many of us write our local, state or federal leaders regarding issues such as funding, gun control, prayer in schools, abortion, or other political matters? I think that is the change of heart; taking responsibility. After all, we are responsible for our relationship with God. We are responsible for teaching the children around us about God and how He sent His only Son to die on the cross for us, to cleanse our sins. We are responsible for our actions; we are responsible for our change of heart.