The last week or so has seen tragedy come to our beautiful Australian shores- we’ve turned on the news and seen the Lindt cafe siege, where two were killed, 8 children murdered in sunny Cairns and then on a global scale, we’ve seen 132 children in Pakistan slaughtered. It causes us to hug our babies tighter and question- how could these things happen, particularly at this time of year?

Often when we look at beautiful Christmas cards and nativity scenes, we think Christmas is meant to be peaceful- after all isn’t it about Peace, Love, Hope and all things good? We forget. Jesus came with pain and heartache and turbulence filled the Jewish world sometime during the first 2 years of Jesus’ life. Over 2000 years ago, a similar slaughter of innocent children took place. Herod, in his fear for loss of power, commanded the annihilation of thousands of Hebrew baby boys. Fear and wailing would have resounded across the land. 

Yet I find comfort. As I read John 1:1-5, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” What a beautiful hope! Despite death and turmoil crowding onto the pages of history surrounding that first Christmas, we see that in Jesus was LIFE and it is this LIFE that is our LIGHT. We see in Jesus a light that cannot be quenched- the dark things of this world can not overcome it.

As our world sometimes seems to be a very dark place, we can stand firm and find strength and comfort in Jesus: the Light he is and the Life he brings. 

Let me leave you with the beautiful words penned by Martin Luther’s, “A Mighty Fortress is our God”

A mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;  (Bulwark- defensive wall)
Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His Name,  (Sabaoth- Lord of Heaven and Hosts)
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:

Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is forever.

photo credit: rachelandrew via photopin cc