This was an unsettled Christmas. It was December 17th. We were all getting ready for Christmas, going to Christmas programs, enjoying Christmas banquests, doing Christmas shopping when we listened to the news. Maybe you heard it on the radio, or on TV, or someone told you. A man had walked into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. By the end 27 people were killed, 20 of them small children.
For the next week you couldn’t turn on the TV or open the newspaper without hearing details about the massacre. Pictures of the children, newsclips of parents of the murdered, speculations about why Adam Lanza had done this crime. Everyone was talking about this, everyone was shaken.
It was jarring to look at the Christmas tree, seeing children doing a Christmas program, while thinking of the horror that happened. How did that shooting affect you?
This Sunday we are going to be talking about the “Slaughter of the Innocents”; the children that Herod murdered when he was trying to kill Jesus. The writer of the gospel of Matthew puts this story right next to the story of Jesus’ birth. Birth and murder in one breath. Why?
Come to church, and we’ll think about this together, and what this means for our church and our world today.