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NE Ohio Synod, ELCA

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A message from Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

‘A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled because they were no more.’” Matthew 2:17-18

Many of us are still in shock after the horrific slaughter of innocents in Newtown, Connecticut. How do we even begin to make sense of something so terrible? Why? How? There will be attempts to explain what happened, to make the horror manageable. And many will ask, “Where was God?”

Let me be clear: this was not God’s will nor was there anything good about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The world can be a dangerous and violent place. And each of us, though created in the image of God, is capable of great evil.

It is precisely to this world, this marred and broken place that God came as a helpless child. It is for this beloved, violent, broken world that Jesus died. It is jarring to have the news of so much death come into homes prepared for Christmas, to read the headlines while carols play. But this is why there is Christmas.

Where is God? Suffering with the children. Grieving with their parents. Wounded with Newtown. In anguish with all of us. We know that when Jesus died, when God saw his precious son broken, God said enough. No more death – not for God’s son, not for any of God’s children. That is our hope. And that is what will make it possible for us to prepare with joy, especially in the face of death, for the coming of Emmanuel – God with us.

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