Almost two weeks ago 20 children were gunned down at a school in the United States. Six and seven years old. Hardly more than babies to their parents. Come and gone so quickly. And at Christmas time! In all likelihood their gifts will have been bought. Preparations to give them an enjoyable holiday from school will have been in place.
Tragic hardly describes the scene. Heart wrenching at any time of year, but now? Just before the holidays? Such grief. Such sorrow.
Change of scene: Civil War in Yugoslavia. Soldiers enter a town at Christmas time. They round up all the men; old men, young men; all the males who didn't have time to hide. They were taken to the edge of town. Half of the men were shot outright. The other half were herded into a barn and burned to death. Can you imagine the grieving that took place in that village that Christmas? Parents, wives, children all lost someone important to them. At Christmas!
Change of scene: A small village; perhaps six hundred people – tops. Jesus and His parents had lived there for the last year and a half.
A warning comes.
Flight in the night.
Soldiers arrive, scouring the town and surrounding area for males two years old and younger. Perhaps as many as 20 children were murdered in an attempt to end the life of the Prince of Peace. Parents grieving for their children.
Jesus came to earth, a planet that's been staggering from violence since the first humans existed.
Jesus came to bring us peace, inner peace.
And while peace is such a rare commodity, only a few accept the offer.
Don't be a fool.
Now is the time of God's offer of salvation. Now is the time to accept.
Happy Holy Days