“We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to bring you breaking news from Newtown, Connecticut.”
We’ve all heard the tragic news from last Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. In a matter of moments, twenty-six souls stepped out of time and into eternity—six women and twenty children ages six and seven. The gunman murdered every soul save one in a first-grade classroom. The lone survivor feigned her own death as her classmates were gunned down.
In a poignant commentary, Joe Scarborough said, “Today as a nation, we grieve; and today we as a people feel helpless.” He spoke of soon watching “the burials of these babies.”
Questions abound in the aftermath of the massacre. I’m sure these three questions have surfaced in various forms and with various degrees of incredulity. Is there a God in heaven? Does He know about what happened? Does He care?
Don’t take these next words as glib or callous. They are not.
Every moment of every day, someone steps out of time and into eternity.
Every moment of every day, someone dies.
Every moment of every day.
The trip has always been one way—from time into eternity. This has been true of Ancient Egypt’s pharaohs … or first-century Roman captives led into the Coliseum … or Civil War casualties … or Holocaust victims … or starving children in Africa … or first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Always one way!
… step out …
… of time …
… into eternity.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
The Son of God stepped out of eternity and into time. He brought light into our dark world.
A mass shooting during the height of the holiday season is about as dark as it gets. Yet, in the midst of tragic death, the mystery—One who steps out of eternity into time—lives. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5 NIV).
Is there a God in heaven?
Yes, and over two thousand years ago, He stepped out of eternity into a stable connected to a Bethlehem inn.
Does God know?
Yes, God knows. Jesus said that a sparrow doesn’t fall from the sky without God’s notice. He also said God knows the number of hairs on our heads. He knew, knows, and forever will know the names of all twenty-six victims from Friday’s massacre.
Does God care?
Yes, God cares. After talking about “the birds of the air” and “the flowers of the field,” Jesus said, “Are you not more valuable than they?”
After Jesus raised a widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17), witnesses testified, “God has come to help his people.”
On Friday morning, December 14th, at Sandy Hook Elementary, twenty first graders and their teachers stepped out of time into eternity.
On an evening long ago, in a distant land, One stepped out of eternity into time.
Isaiah spoke a prophetic word centuries before the birth of Christ. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2 NIV).
Today our nation is a “land of deep darkness.”
But in this Christmas season, we remember the Light who “shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”
“Hallelujah”–the Voice Tribute to the Sandy Hook Elementary victims
“It Was Just Another Day” by Kari Scare at Struggle to Victory
“In the Wake of the Newton, CT–Turning to the Psalms” by Jon Stolpe
Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes
Two men. Two eternal destinies.
One common hope.
A poignant and compelling portrayal of heaven and hell, with a powerful look at redemption from the perspective of both the lost…and the saved. Well done!–Susan May Warren, best-selling, award-winning author of You Don’t Know Me.
“Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes” was a compelling read for me. The vivid descriptions challenged and ignited my imagination. Tom skillfully laid out a clever story that caused me to think and made me want to read to the end.–Ron Fruit GM, WRCO Radio
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Very moving post. One of the best on this tragedy I have read yet. Thank you for focusing on the only comfort that can bring any hope in all of this. (Thanks for the mention of my post too.)
Thanks, Kari, for your encouraging words. You’re welcome. Always glad to direct folks your way.
Thanks for the mention, Tom.
You’re welcome, Jon.
Sandy Hook, Hurricane Sandy, recent massive highway pile-ups keep us reminded that life is ephemeral. God, though, is forever.
Sandy–a natural disaster and human-instigated horror–will have a different meaning it seems after this year.
Beautifully written my friend! As always you point us to the ONE. As I travel through winterwonderland with its sparkling white snow that brightens the day and reflects into the night I think about the Light, the ONE. And yes, God was there, just as He is with each of us. God Bless. Merry Christmas
MJ, I see you were able to make a comment. Glad to see your thoughts.