A Christmastime Tragedy

Thursday, December 27, 2012
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Listen while you read: "I've Got Peace Like A River"1 (Lyrics)

On December 14, 2012, the city of Newtown, Connecticut, USA, was shaken by the news of a gunman entering Sandy Hook Elementary School and killing 26 children and adults. Whenever such a tragedy occurs, it seems that we find ourselves asking the same old questions: "Why did God allow this to happen?" and "If He is such a loving God, He could have stopped this."

Some people say that guns are the problem; others say that emotional and mental health problems are the cause, and so forth. It is people, not guns who kill other people. There are people with emotional and mental health problems who don't kill other people.

There are too many bad things happening in our world today. One just has to watch the news on television, read the newspaper, or just converse with someone on the street. In addition to mass shootings, there are wars and rumours of wars throughout the world. Tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires seem to be more prevalent these days. Our world, it seems, is going through labour pains.

Mark 13:7 – When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. (NIV)

When hope has become hopeless, love has turned into hate, forgiveness has turned into revenge, and Satan is having a field day, it usually means that God is doing (or going to do) something really special. A similar tragedy happened when Jesus first entered the world:

Matthew 2:16 – Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. (NIV)

The fact is that amidst all of this darkness that has enveloped our whole society, Jesus is the Light who shines through the darkness. There is hope for our world.

John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (NIV)

Prayer: Jesus, You are the true light that shines through our darkness. Help us to shine Your love in word and deed to a world that envisions no hope. Transform our hearts of stone into hearts of love for one another. Amen.

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About the author:

Rosemary Hagedorn <rosyhagedorn@gmail.com>
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • Devotional Feedback says:

    Hi Rosemary,
    Thanks for your devotional on a difficult subject. However, you hit the nail on the head by reminding us that Jesus is still the light in a world of darkness and that is not only the sole consolation but also the best and lasting consolation.
    Thousands of Christians are praying for the parents and loved ones of the children. And God will most assuredly hear their prayers. We can also be certain that if we keep on praying God Himself will bring about a solution to the gun problem. Our God is able! for Him all things are possible.

    Thanks Rosemary for a good word. God bless.

    Amen. thank you for today’s devotional.

    Rosemary thank you for some common sense words on this terrible topic of our day.

    Thank you for that wonderful perspective in today’s reading. I found it so enlightening.
    God Bless you.

    Rosy, Thanks for your thoughts on this terrible tragedy. You’ll find something similar on my own blog, but not tying it to Herod’s massacre. I agree … Christ is our hope. Blessings.

    Dear Rosemary: I cried when looking at the news from Connecticut.
    What a needless tragedy!
    God help us all!

    Rosemary, thank you my friend. We all need the reminder of what you gave us to think about. I will remember this and also remind others of this. Thank you again, and May God continue to bless you through out the New Year 2013.

    Dear Rosemary,
    I pray with you that hearts may be turned to the One who hears all of our prayers, and to the One who forgives all who sin — who also come to Him, the risen Savior who gave himself for our sins and who accepts all who repent and accept his full-flegded forgiveness and open-armed reception.
    And I pray for that Word of Life to be spread world-wide: Continue to use us and to use our devotions. Amen.
    Keep writing, Rosemary.

    I think that we need to admit that this was an act of EVIL … pure unadulterated EVIL. When you read the reports I personally believe this was, as the bible predicts, the devil having his way in the end days.
    Rosemary, you ask an interesting question when you wonder where God was in all of this. There was another school story that took place a few years ago, but didn’t get much publicity. God obviously did intervene here, but papers don’t want to talk about good news.
    God Bless.

    Thanks for the devotional.
    Here’s a contrary view to today’s devotional. Please accept it with love and respect.
    As a Canadian Christian, I totally disagree that “it’s people, not guns that kill other people”
    In the US, It’s guns, plain and simple.
    As long as we keep on making excuses for the crazy, evil, American gun culture, it will never change. Be thankful we live in Canada, and pray that the US will finally be moved to deal with its culture of guns and violence.
    Guns kill. If people don’t have them, they don’t kill at the ridiculous rate they do in the US.

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