There is a heaviness to Christmas. Yes there is joy. Yes there is merriment. But we cannot forget that there is an earnest gravity to this season of gifts. It has always been so. Jesus’ birth was no silent night. Jesus was born amid the darkness and evil of a world gone horribly wrong. His birth was not celebrated by singing carols, but by the screaming cries of parents who had lost their children to the night.
In Bethlehem all those years past, Jesus’ birth was marked by the monstrous murder of the innocents. Matthew 2 tells us of Herod’s murderous massacre. A madman raged against the most helpless and most vulnerable. And Rachel wept for her children, refusing to be comforted for they were no more.
Now this Christmas season we hear of another madman and more children murdered in Connecticut. And we weep. Comfort seems far away.The world is dark. The world is broken, and we’re still left with the hope that the truly innocent-infant cries from the manger signal the defeat of all evil and wrong and hurt. We cling to this. We are a people in desperate need of the Christ child. Looking into the horrid eyes of evil’s nature, we are forced to turn to the cross-shadowed glow of Bethlehem’s nativity. In the face of senseless evil where else shall we turn? The hopes and fears from all our years are still met in him this night.