Friday, December 21, 2012


Interesting the way the events of life have lined up these days.  An unexplainable act of evil.  A prediction of the end of the world.  The commemoration of a Savior's birth.  The pains and questions we are each dealing with in our own souls -- I have mine, you have yours.  No coincidences here, I'm sure.

Our immediate instinct after an event like Sandy Hook is to determine to take control of the situation so nothing like this ever happens again.  Take away all the guns -- or arm all the teachers.  Lock away all the mentally and emotionally disturbed -- or integrate them better into society so they heal.  Protect the schools like an army base -- or bring the kids home to homeschool.  Nothing ever actually gets done because we can't ever agree on what needs to be done.  Because deep in our hearts, if we're honest with ourselves (which we rarely are), we know there's nothing that we can do to fix this.

For many of us, our personal pains and questions echo the events of the day and take us even deeper.  We see pain within . . . we see brokenness within . . . we even see evil within, if we're honest enough to face up to it (which we rarely are).  And we are determined to take control of the situation so nothing like this ever happens within us again.  Stay away from people -- or embrace people more.  Put up protection walls -- or open up the heart to others.  Seek knowledge and advice -- or forget what I know and go by my instincts.  Discpline myself -- or indulge myself.  Nothing gets fixed within us because we don't really know how we need to be fixed.  And deep down in our hearts, if we're honest with ourselves (which we rarely are), we know that even if we knew how to fix ourselves, we couldn't or wouldn't be able to do it.

At some point, each of us must come to the horrible realization that we are out of the Garden of Eden and there is no way back.

Many of us never allow ourselves to realize that fact fully.  We psyche ourselves up with the idea of a spark of good within us all, ignoring the selfish motives behind all of our good -- rationalizing our selfish motives as self-actualization and healing, the ultimate virtue in modern life -- explaining away the evils prevalent in the world as "freedom" and "choice" and "nature", which must be inherently good.  We refuse to see how broken the world is, because if this is true, it seems to render our lives as a hopeless, meaningless wallow of futility.

Enter into our hopeless wallow . . . a baby.  A baby called "Christ the Lord" -- that is, the Messiah, the promised one, the one sent to save, who is by his nature Master and Sovereign over all and able to move the universe at large and the human heart at small to bring all things together for his glory and for the good of his people.

A Lord.  A holy, just, omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving Lord.  Exactly what we need, if we're honest with ourselves (which we rarely are).

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