Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Cabernet in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary School Reflections

This came from the blog of the senior pastor at the church I work for. I thought it was interesting.
 
 
 
Sandy Hook Elementary School Reflections

Yesterday when I became aware of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School I wanted to share a pastoral response. I wanted to tell you everything will be alright. I wanted to give you words of encouragement. But that all seems to miss the mark. I've waited 24 hours to share a couple of thoughts with you. I kept waking up in the night thinking about these things. So here is my pastoral reflection for you. First I would remind you that the purpose of life is NOT to arrive safely at the grave. Our responsibility as parents is not to merely deliver our children to teenage years and then to adulthood. And then safely to the grave. Our responsibility is much greater than that. We have the opportunity to instill courage and compassion in our children. We have the opportunity to instill faith in our children. We are able to help develop our children into a life constructed on faith rather than fear. So I encourage you to resist the natural inclination to hold your children closer than usual and try to protect them from anything that could harm them. I encourage you to take your children with you when you go out today. I encourage you to take your children to Sunday School and Church tomorrow. I encourage you to see your children off to school Monday like you would had Sandy Hook not happened. Certainly we are responsible for the safely of our children. Never put your children at unnecessary risk. We know that. But the purpose is building people of faith not delivering people safely to the grave. So live your life fully and faithfully and show your children how to do the same. Secondly I mention the idea Timothy Merrill - editor of Homiletics (a preaching journal I read) - put forward. This is the third weekend in Advent. We will be lighting the Advent Candle of Joy this weekend. He suggested we might want to leave the Joy candle unlit, or perhaps light a "grief" candle. This is not a bad idea. I have given it some thought. But I choose not to follow this suggestion. We have been reading a scripture from Isaiah 9 this month. "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in gteh land of deep darkness a light has dawned." (Isaiah 9:2) Christmas really is about more than tinsel and giving presents to one another. Christmas really is about God coming to our world. The Lord - Jesus Christ - the Light of the World - entered into a dark, sinful world. The Lord brings redemption to us. So rather than leave the Joy Candle dim I choose to light the Joy Candle and remind us again that Jesus has come to our darkness and sin to bring Light. Jesus brings to our darkness and sin Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. We will go on with our Choir cantata this weekend. We will sing and worship the Lord. I encourage you to look to the Light of Christ as we walk through these days of darkness. Remember all those families affected by the events of Sandy Hook. We pray God's Light shine into their (and our) darkness. Steve

12 comments:

Carol Krajcar said...

Kenny, this is one of the best and by far the most comforting piece that I have read about the awful tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Thanks for sharing!

Rick Doyle said...

Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful article, Ken.

I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must be for those in Sandy Hook who have lost loved ones to carry on.

BJ said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.

kcgaz said...

Well said and much needed! Thanks.

where's weaver said...

Amen. Thank you for sharing.

Donna K said...

Very well written article. The focus of the Christmas concert I attended this morning was "Hope" and the pastor's remarks along the same lines as your article.

Phyllis said...

Having our 3 and 6 y/o granddaughers with us this weekend was a blessing.

As we look at these sweet girls, we can not fanthom and heartbreak the familes in Newtown are sharing.

We can not protect our loved ones from all evil and hurt in this world. At this blessed time, and especailly with events none of us would have imagined, we look to the Heavens for peace and comfort.

Jim and Sandie said...

Our Sunday School teacher this morning said about the same thing - we as parents are to arm our children with faith. We cannot protect them from all that is evil. Without faith we have nothing. Bless the little ones to come unto Me.

MargieAnne said...

What an excellent pastoral letter. I am about to link your post to my Blog. It's hard to comprehend such awful events but things happen we have no control over and it's how we react that's important.

Blessings

Sue B said...

thanks for sharing..may the families and friends find some peace and comfort.

Tammy Fletcher said...

Very comforting to read. Thank you for sharing this.

Dennis and Donna said...

Great blog.thanx