Do the words “Connecticut” and “Christmas” go together? They do.
First of all, over at the Lutheran blog the Brothers of John the Steadfast, Charles St. Onge gives us a bit bigger picture to consider:
“On the same day that this tragedy occurred in Connecticut, 22 children were stabbed in an attack at a Chinese elementary school. On the same day, hundreds of children under five died from malaria in Africa. On the same day, close to a hundred people were killed in Syria. On the same day, countless children died while still in their mother’s wombs. If you will not tolerate this anymore, if you believe these tragedies must end, there is only one to turn to. It is not Congress. It is Christ Jesus. Only the child born of Mary can deliver us from Satan’s Court, and bring the real change that will end evil once and for all.”*
But the man who really nails it is Russell D. Moore in his post “School Shootings and Spiritual Warfare”. Some excerpts:
“… there’s something especially condemnable about the murder of children. I think there’s a reason for that.
…Throughout the history of the universe, evil has manifested a dark form of violence specifically toward children. Not only did the Canaanite nations demand the blood of babies, but the Bible shows where at points of redemptive crisis, the powers of evil have lashed out at children.
… Jesus was not born into a gauzy, sentimental winter wonderland of sweetly-singing angels and cute reindeer nuzzling one another at the side of his manger. He was born into a war-zone… History in Bethlehem, as before and as now, is riddled with the bodies of murdered children.
…[Satan] hates the life of children, particularly, because they picture something true about Jesus of Nazareth.
… When the woman and her child escaped, the dragon “became furious with the woman and went out to make war on the rest of her offspring” (Rev. 12:17), and has done so ever since.
… Satan hates children because he hates Jesus. When evil destroys “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40, 45), the most vulnerable among us, it destroys a picture of Jesus himself, of the child delivered by the woman who crushes the head of our reptilian overlord (Gen. 3:15). The demonic powers know that the human race is saved, and they’re vanquished, by a child born of woman (Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 2:15). And so they hate the children who bear his nature.
… Violence against children is also peculiarly satanic because it destroys the very picture of newness of life and dependent trust that characterizes life in the kingdom of God (Matt. 18:4). Children are a blessing, and that enrages the horrifying nature of those who seek only to kill and to destroy (Jn. 10:10).
The satanic powers want the kingdoms of the universe, and a child uproots their reign.
… Let’s pray for the Second Coming of Mary’s son. And, as we sing our Christmas carols, let’s look into the slitted eyes of Satan as we promise him the threat of his coming crushed skull.
The mystery of evil is a declaration of war on the peace of God’s creation. The war goes on, but not for long. And sometimes the most warlike thing we can say, in an inhuman murderous age like this one, is “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”
If you read this blog and appreciated this, go to the actual article and give Dr. Moore the hits his blog deserves. Ever speaking the truth in love, Moore cautions “Let’s not offer pat, easy answers to the grieving parents and communities in Connecticut”. Well said. But he hasn’t done that at all. When dealing one-on-one with families affected by the shooting, it makes sense to be like Job’s friends in their better moments, suffering in silence with those who suffer. But when words are spoken – as they must be – let them be as true and freeing as these.
Also, please don’t think for a moment that this theological point inevitably leads to a lack of cultural awareness and/or what is politically possible (this article speaks powerfully to me as well, as do, of course, the articles about what the shooter was like).
*-This is how the article ends. His bigger picture yet entails this thought: “children were never meant to die at all. The naturalistic materialist cannot speak words like ‘evil,’ ‘senseless,’ or ‘tragedy’ without denying their own presuppositions about the origin of the universe and of life itself”
Picture and caption from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch