What can we say about the horrific evil that occurred in Connecticut?
We weep with those who weep. There is a time simply to comfort those who mourn. God isn’t distant and uncaring about what happened. He is there. He hasn’t abandoned us. He is present and involved. He knows suffering firsthand – Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, suffered a violent death at the hands of evil men. God knows and He cares. He is here.
God’s answer to evil is Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate in this season. He is God’s answer to evil. God responded Himself to the evil we perpetrate in this world. God came in the flesh, Emmanuel. He lived a perfect life, yet took the punishment each of us deserves for our evil. He got involved, He didn’t remain far off. He came to us.
The angels’ message to the shepherds is still the answer to evil and suffering: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Jesus is the only one who holds the answer to evil.
He identifies with us in the effects of evil in our lives because He lived a life in this evil world. He defeated evil and is the only answer of hope because He overcame the power of sin and the devil on the cross and by rising. He assures us that this evil world is not all there is and He has prepared a perfect world where all will be set right. He gives us the Holy Spirit to comfort us and empower us to endure when it seems sorrow will crush us. He will bring final and perfect justice when He returns.
Behold Him. He is the only source of true joy in an evil world.
Don’t try to find the strength in yourself. It’s not there. Don’t look for hope in others. We are all frail sinners and disappoint. Behold Jesus, God in the flesh. He is the answer for the hope and fears of all mankind because He alone has dealt with evil.
The atheists may challenge Christianity with evil – how can a good God allow evil? But what does atheism have to answer evil? Nothing. No hope. No ultimate justice. No comfort. No explanation.
We may not know why God has allowed this evil thing to happen. But we do know that He has provided the answer for it: His Son Jesus. He came to us because of what happened in Connecticut. He came because of every other evil act we commit in this world. He comes today to comfort and offer hope and grace to live through something that is otherwise impossible to cope with. And He will come again to deal with evil finally and eternally.
That is the tiding of great joy that answers horrific evil. The only hope that offers comfort to those who weep.