Forty sets of parents are waking up childless for the second time this morning, or one child short. Siblings are waking up without their brother or sister under their roof, some only for the second time in their lives. Many dogs and cats are still sleeping on empty beds, many grandparents lost faith in this next generation. Uncles lost nieces and nephews. Aunts lost best friends. Friends keep waking up from tearless nights.
The sudden realization of that forever-lost sort of feeling crashed into more than 27 homes again this morning. And it will continue to happen long after the rest of us move on.
Friday, death reigned. But it reigned the day before and the day before that, and it still reigns today. At least in an earthly sense.
But soon, Satan will be de-throned and cast into the fiery pit for all eternity. In the end, sin and death and tears and sorrow will be destroyed forever. And God will comfort His children, young and old. And rest assured that God is comforting many children as you read this.
This is probably why The Hobbit was such a perfect movie to watch at a time like this because it’s a great comfort to see good triumph over evil time and time again.
Our hearts are breaking, and will be broken for a long time. We are also more scared than we ever have been. Our country has entered into a new phase of perversity. Over the last fifteen years we’ve seen our homeland sink deeper and deeper into depravity, starting with the Columbine shootings, the first massive school shooting we had ever heard of.
We’ve gone from high school shootings to college shootings to airplane takeovers to movie theater shootings – and we thought that was the lowest people can sink. Until Friday.
But remember that kids have been killed since the time of Pharaoh. All over the world kids are deliberately killed on a daily basis. Babies have been shamelessly murdered in the womb in our own country longer than we care to remember. There is nothing new under the sun. And people, by and large, are no less evil than Adam Lanza.
That is not to diminish the terror of Friday’s events. An age-old monstrosity, that has been committed since the time of Moses, simply stepped into the spotlight on the most prominent stage in the world, and gained a worldwide audience.
This will continue to happen all over the world, though we will not hear about every instance. There will be many prescriptions to curbing these heinous acts, laws put into place, and security will tighten around every school campus at least for the remainder of the school year.
But let us be clear, as good as some of those things are, it all comes down to the depravity of the human heart. And the only remedy to that is the redemption and love of a Father who hates this sort of sin more than even we possibly could.
Remember that when we fall into fantasizing about personally punishing the Adam Lanzas and James Holmeses of the world, we are falling prey to the same depravity that they started out with when their crimes were first conceived. Thus our hearts are just as wicked as theirs in God’s eyes.
We must respond to this in love. Pity the murderers who are burning in Hell; resist the temptation to laugh and rejoice over their eternal torment. It does no good to pray for their souls now, because what’s done is done. But know that they are not in Hell because of this, any more than a man who committed one sin early in his life is in Hell.
Adam Lanza is not only paying for his sins from Friday. He’s not even paying for the many curses he uttered under his breath or the white lies he’s told. He’s in Hell for the same reason the other inhabitants are – refusing to place their faith in Jesus Christ.
Not only would he have experienced salvation, but twenty sets of parents would not have woken up childless again this morning. This is part of what we mean as Christians when we say that Jesus saves, and that He has an alternative plan for our world and for humankind.
Detach yourself form the company of Adam Lanza and Timothy Mcveigh, and join with the One who firmly stands against these monsters. You may be concerned for the lives of children and innocent people, which is commendable, but if you are not concerned about their souls, then you care only for what cannot be saved.
Do not be concerned for your own life as you go to the movies or to school or Christmas shopping at the mall, but be concerned about where you will go after your life has ended. We were reminded all too brutally that life is but a vapor, but our souls live on forever. Now is the opportunity to decide where. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and your prayers for the victims, for your friends and family, for your life, will be heard.
Grace, peace, and love be to all the Sandy Hook victims and their families. May they be drawn to Jesus through this unspeakable tragedy. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many lives may be saved” (Genesis 50:20).
Come, Lord Jesus. But only once all your children are gathered. Amen.