In Response to the Tragedy in Newtown
"A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:18 (quoting Jeremiah)
Sometimes these ancient words come close. As we watch the weeping and feel no consolation for the events of this past Friday in Newtown, Connecticut, we are reminded of senseless violence that touches our communities every day. This is a moment when that reminder is sharp. We pray for parents of children barely older than those we welcome into our preschool every day, and for their teachers. We pray with our own children in mind. And we also weep with the mother, now gone, of the young man who's desperation, illness, and rage led him to such a horrific act.
We are all connected in our own way. Lynne and I know Newtown, Connecticut, well, as she drove past Sandy Hook Elementary School everyday for two years on the way to our son Andrew's school just a short distance down the road. Each of us have our own connections to these events or are reminded by them of other events that have touched us in similar ways.
So we all weep. And we all seek consolation and reassurance of God's presence in the midst of a world in which God does not seem to be in control.
It is worth recalling that the lament of Rachel in this scripture from Matthew is part of our Christmas story. It comes in the wake of King Herod's order that innocent children be slaughtered. Herod wanted to kill the hope of the Christ child. But that hope could not be killed—even by earth shattering violence, even by irrational rage, even by tragic evil. There is hope yet.
As a congregation, we join in prayer and support for the community of Newtown and for all who suffer at the hands of violence this day.
Grace and Peace,