Still 4 days later, it’s hard to focus on something else…
We could focus on the number of shopping days left, but they pale in comparison.
We could focus on solving the so-called “fiscal cliff,” but that, too — even with its almost unimaginable depth of debt — pales in comparison.
We could focus on all sorts of things; each would pale in comparison…
… except maybe…
… just maybe…
… the meaning of Christmas.
I realize to many the story is simply too old. A baby, born in a manger, in swaddling clothes with no room in some ancient inn… what exactly are “swaddling” clothes, anyway? Let’s face it: the story is old. The meaning, however, is timeless. In the aftermath of Connecticut, when we continue to rush to justice — when we definitively aver that these horrific events must never happen again, when we find some solace in our own, at least perceived resoluteness — we need a lasting message… a truth that is timeless. No speech nor warm wish, nor legislation, movement, or monetary investment compares to the lasting, old meaning of Christmas.
That babe — born some 2,000 years ago — is said to be the only being ever capable of fully and ultimately ushering in peace and bestowing goodwill to men. Fascinating in the study of world religion, no other proclaimed deity has fulfilled the profound prophecies of Jesus Christ. No other faithful figure has made the claims he’s made and been able to back them up. For no other have the words come true.
Peace. Goodwill to men. Lasting. Many have tried to find a solution, to offer healing, to keep bad stuff from happening again — seeking means, movements, and monies that would at least put a better-feeling Band-Aid on those evil, earthly events. The motive seems somewhat pure; we don’t want to hurt anymore; we don’t want innocent others to hurt either. But none are fully capable; none carry a lasting, effective meaning. Hence, no movement or legislation, well-intentioned as it may be, is capable of being more than a so-called Band-Aid.
When I think of the 20 kids who died in Connecticut, I need to be reminded of something I know will work… that I know will be an authentic solution. I think of peace. I need to know it’s available. I think of goodwill… to all men. I need to be encouraged to generously offer that goodwill. Hence, I need a lasting hope to hold on to. Why? Because nothing temporary makes sense. Even though potentially good and well-intentioned, “Band-Aids” are temporary. And while temporary may seem necessary and helpful and may appease our passions for the moment, we forget that underneath the Band-Aid only exists a deeper scar. My desire for each of us is not to adhere what covers up the wound — but rather, what wrestles with the deeper scar.
Did we cross some sort of line on Friday?
Did society finally go too far?
Did we pass a point of accepted immorality that no longer we can stand?
And better yet, did Friday’s horrific act finally get our attention?
Ah, great discussion… one that no doubt we would each benefit from should we engage in respectful, listening-prioritized dialogue.
My sense is no new lines of morality were crossed. Instead, arguably, our senses and souls have been heightened with a renewed awareness.
No, for a hope that will last.
Thanks for the coming of Christmas.