Responding to the Newtown Tragedy: When Words are too Much

I, like many, have been deeply mourning the tragedy that struck in Connecticut just a few days ago. And I’ve been deeply troubled by the lengths people have gone to promote a personal agenda, even if it is a good agenda. I’ve heard questions and debates about evil, God’s existence, gun control, and so on and so forth. I’ve been tempted to formulate some sort of response myself. Yet I’ve reached the conclusion that maybe this is a time for me to remain silent, to mourn with those who are suffering, and to honor the lives of those lost by refraining from a personal response so close to the event. So rather than add to the noise surrounding this time of grief, I’ve decided to link to a few articles and blogs that I believe are helpful in promoting thoughtful and compassionate silence.

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What’s so Merry about Christmas? Truth.

During the Christmas season I usually spend time contemplating what makes this time of year merry. As a Christian, my focus is on a baby born in a manger nearly 2000 years ago. What bearing does it have on merrymaking that a child was born in poverty so long ago?

One word in particular keeps coming to mind. That word is truth. John’s Gospel tells us that the child is God, the Word made flesh, who came full of grace and truth.[1] Years later when the child grew up, he announced that the truth he proclaimed would bring freedom.[2]

Truth brings freedom? Do we really believe this? The extent to which we lie indicates that we actually believe truth brings bondage. Why do children lie about stealing a cookie, politicians about their marital infidelity, or loved ones about taking illegal substances? We lie because we believe the truth won’t set us free. If we tell the truth things will go bad for us. We’ll lose the freedom we desire. We run from truth.

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