My day began with the Brite Hooding. It is a worship service where Brite graduates are hooded with Master’s Degree hoods over purple robes by Brite professors. Brite professors read scripture, lead prayers and preach the sermon. It was a great joy to see my friends honored in such a worshipful way. Later in the day the graduates may attend the TCU graduation and graduate with the remainder of the TCU graduates. By God’s good grace and the kindness of scheduling I should graduate and attend my own hooding a year from now.
Prayer: Lord, our hearts are still broken at the loss of the children and adults in Sandy Nook. If these senseless deaths have brought about any goodness at all it has caused this nation to pray. It has caused your children to become united in compassionate caring for not only these 28 babies and adults we do not know, but all who are connected with them. Help these ones who are so broken to look to You and into the eyes and arms of those who love You for comfort and the long road to healing. In Jesus name, Amen.
“The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; they shall fear disaster no more.”
Zephaniah 3: 15
Advent leads us forward toward the birth the angels sang. Zephaniah assures us that God also comes to humanity in the community of faith. God’s presence heals and challenges humanity to cling to God’s promises for an alternate future.
The community in Newtown faces an alternate future. They face a future without some of their children and friends. In a matter of moments their world was turned upside down and inside out. These families are in so much pain that it must feel as if it is taking their skin off. They do not have to heal today or tomorrow or the next. The most important thing these families and this community can remember is that God is with them and is weeping with great sorrow with them and for them. God knows what it is like to lose a child, God lost His Son too. God’s heart is broken and yet God is still present.
The last sentence of the scripture says because God is in their midst they “shall fear disaster no more.” I do not know how these families are going to let their children out of their sight without fear. I don’t know how life will get back to normal in this community and I don’t know how these parents, teachers, children and administrators will walk back into that school building again, I just know God will be there and somehow and over time the fear in this community will be replaced with hope.
Take joy in this Advent journey. Pray for those with broken hearts. Hug, call, email or text those you love telling them you love them. And when you see them, hug them tight. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.
I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.