God of Love, God of Mercy, God of Hope,
This time it came too close to home.
This time we know someone who knows someone.
This time the voices on TV carry no western or midwestern or southern accents.
This time our own troubles and sorrows seem dwarfed in comparison.
This time it was little children.
Holy, All-Knowing, All-Loving God, only You get this…because we sure don’t.
We don’t understand why. We don’t understand where You were.
This time it happened twelve days before Christmas in the midst of our preparing for You.
As we gather on an Advent Sunday and light the pale pink candle for Love, God, we are shocked, confused, dismayed and really straining to see a glimmer of the Light of the World in one turned black with grief.
But somehow our faith slowly creeps in and we remember to look up and look within and look beyond, and to look toward You.
You…who promises Love in the midst of evil.
You…who shows us Love in the heroic acts of everyday elementary school teachers.
You…who reveals yourself in the hope, of all things, a baby
…innocently tortured and hung on a cross to die, but who rose from His earthly grave to show us that death does not conquer, Love does.
Holy God, restore our hope this day.
Renew our shaken, tested, faltering faith.
And in the midst of this darkness, keep showing us the light of Your Love. Amen.
Offered by Rev. Ann Aaberg Mystic Congregational Church Third Sunday of Advent, December 16, 2012
Our heartfelt condolences and deep sympathy to the people of Newtown.