The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 12/14

Posted on | December 14, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 12/14

Scripture reading: Matthew 2:16–18

O Little Town of Sandy Hook 1

O little town of Sandy Hook, we weep with you today;

For all the horror, pain and loss . . . we don’t know what to say.

The evil you have witnessed, the horror you have known, We try to say a prayer for you but all we do is groan.

We know this world in which we live is not what it should be We know that sin and greed and hate exist abundantly.

Yet nothing could prepare us, for what’s befallen you;

We wring our hands, we wipe our tears; O Lord, what can we do?

Then in the darkness of my thoughts; a ray of holy light, It makes me ponder once again that first most holy night.

In a Judean village, a tiny Child was born,

His coming promised peace on earth that blessed Christmas morn.

O little town of Bethlehem, how tranquilly you lie,

And though the Prince of Peace is born . . . a tyrant is nearby.

King Herod has sent his soldiers to kill your baby boys!

This Christmas will be plundered of its blessings and its joys.

His mother held him to her breast and prayed to God above,

“O bless my child, and guide his steps. Protect him with your love.” But Mary could not fathom, what such a prayer would mean For her child then, for ours today, and all those in-between.

 

We ponder long and scratch our heads to grasp this mystery, How Jesus brings us peace and also brings adversity.

His coming into darkness, illuminates the night, Exposing evil, sin and hate and bringing them to light.

1 On December 14, 2012, twenty children and six adult staff were killed by a lone gun- man at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This poem was writ- ten during that Christmas season to commemorate that tragic event. Special thanks to Phillips Brooks and his famous hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem” for the inspiration.

 

This Christmas we will have the holy privilege to know What parents felt in Bethlehem so very long ago:

That light shines in our darkness, and hope dawns in our pain, And those who trust in Mary’s Child will reunite again.

O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray; Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.

So moms and dads together, who grieve and weep tonight, Might find the peace that Jesus brings, in darkness find his light.

 

The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to feel ourselves to be at home here on earth. As long as we are aliens, we cannot forget our true homeland, which is that other kingdom (Jesus) proclaimed.

—Malcolm  Muggeridge

 

point to ponder The coming of Jesus means that Satan and the forces of darkness unleash their most horrible fury.

prayer focus Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem introduced Light into a Dark world. Pray today for those who mourn during the holiday season.

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