Hope from the Manger: A Biblical Reflection on the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre by Joe Alain

Hope from the Manger: A Biblical Reflection on the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre
Joe Alain
Luke 2:1-7

After the massacre of 20 children this past Friday at a Connecticut Elementary School, people are asking a familiar question, "Where Is God?" Many will be looking for answers and in moments like this, there are no easy answers. What we do know is that God is with the suffering. He identifies with the hurting. The President quoted Psalm 34:18 on Friday, a verse that reminds us where God is in times like this. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." To the answer, "Where Is God?" He's right where he has always been, in the midst of those who hurt and who are suffering.

The Nativity story in Luke 2:1-7 is a reminder to us that God and the hope that He brings is often found in unexpected places. Of all places, God chose to manifest His presence in a manger in Bethlehem. Not the more accommodating lodgings that must have been there for the apparent influx of visitors for a tax census (Joseph and Mary were not the only ones traveling to Bethlehem), but a shelter for livestock, a stable probably a simple cave with a feeding trough! Neville Callam stated that by God becoming flesh and dwelling in a manger, he invested the manger with the quality of magnificence. Wherever God dwells, there is his majesty. "We may discover that God is often found in unexpected places."

Jesus was born in the midst of hardship, of suffering, in a society that knew violence and that was well-acquainted with death, yet God's presence, His glory, his light was there in the darkness. To the question, "Where is God?" He is in the midst of the darkness bringing light, he is in the midst of the suffering and the pain, bringing hope.

Max Lucado noted that there was an eerie irony for the Connecticut tragedy coming just before Christmas, noting that the Bible says that Jesus Christ's birth was followed by an order from King Herod to sl ...

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