Twenty-six people were killed in a random shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. This horror took place days from Christmas with the anticipation that that day brings. The death of these precious children seems to me to be the opposite of Advent. Instead of preparing ourselves for the coming of the Christ Child, there is a whole community that is saying goodbye to their children. It is a heart-wrenching experience to watch a community that has been subjected to such monumental horror. What they experienced was not an act of God. This was pure evil.

Even in the face of such evil we anticipate the Christ Child. The Child, the representative of all that is innocent, redemptive and infused with wonder. We await this Child who brings peace and reconciliation by his selfless act of sacrifice. Hearts go out to the ones left behind who ache with empty arms. And we continue to wait, even in deepest loss, believing that when the Child comes he will deliver us from evil. We wait in hope for the advent of the Child who will usher in the kingdom of God, where all tears will be dried. We wait for the Child who will be Immanuel, God with us.

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