The recent shooting tragedy in San Bernardino, California is another grim example of the broken world in which we live. It is hard to try to make sense of this, and I find myself ranging from sadness to anger, and even fear. By whatever you want to call it, whether it is political, religious, terrorism, or just a bunch of weirdos who have perpetrated these deadly acts, I believe the Church has an important word to say to the world, despite the provocative headline on the front page of last week’s New York Daily News, which said, “God Isn’t Fixing This.”
During this season of Advent, Christians prepare to celebrate a mystery of faith, the Incarnation, — God’s unique union with humanity in the person of Jesus Christ Among other things, the Incarnation means that as God comes to be with us as Emmanuel, God is still with us, and God works through us. And Christmas we are reminded that God came as a weak, vulnerable child into our world. He came into this world, which was a far from perfect world. He came into our world, a dangerous world, a world of violence, pain, suffering and death. He came into a world that knows how dark the darkness can be, how deep the pain can go, how gripping the fear can become, and how endless the grief can feel. And yet, as it says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he sent his son . . .”
Jesus Christ entered into this world as a child, not to “fix” things, but to save us, and to reconcile us back to God. He is the light of the world. He is the light that shines in the darkness, even the deepest darkness. And even after last week’s horrific event, and as hard as it is to believe, the darkness did not overcome him. It has not, and it will not.