Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Unseen Murderer

First, it is good to be back. I have not blogged in a few months because I had my third daughter, Mariella, in June. Needless to say, things have been hectic since her arrival but she is an absolute joy and an amazing blessing from the Lord.

During my time away, much has transpired in the world, most recently the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. For so many reasons these events have been tragic and hard to understand especially since the perpetrator shot himself and his mother leaving us with few answers as to why he would open gun fire on children. The Pastor of my church gave a poignant sermon last week entitled, “Turn Toward Jesus.” I would encourage you to listen to it as he deals with the origination of evil, the effects of sin on God’s creation, Jesus Christ as the only remedy for sin, and Jesus’ compassion toward those who suffer.

As the news media has swirled, and everything has been discussed from gun control to better mental health awareness, one issue has not been discussed that needs some solemn consideration.

This year in the US alone, more than one million abortions have been performed. Every 95 seconds an abortion is executed. This means that approximately every 30 minutes of EVERY day 20 babies are murdered, the same number of children that were murdered at Sandy Hook. More than 50 million babies have been slaughtered since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.

Perhaps one of the reasons 20 year old Adam Lanza decided to open fire on an elementary school is because we, as a society, have so little regard for human life. I heard one newscaster say that children are supposed to be safe at school. Indeed. And they are also supposed to be safe in the womb. My founding pastor once said that when abortion was passed the sacredness of life outside of the womb will suffer as a result. He could not have been more right.

We want to blame violent video games, poor parenting, and mental health drugs for this tragedy when just a few weeks ago we voted in a man for president that used abortion as the very platform for his campaign. Republicans and Democrats debated for months whether a woman who is raped should have to carry the baby, skillfully ignoring the elephant in the room as more than 86 percent of all abortions are voluntary and performed out of convenience and are not the result of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life. But this is what we do. We focus on the peripheral in an effort to ignore the gruesome reality – we are a society of murderers. We look at 20-year-old Adam Lanza and render him an evil monster, and yet, we approve whole heartedly for the murder of millions of babies every year soothing our consciences with the perverted belief that women have the right to decide life or death.

In Romans chapter one, verses 28-32, the Apostle Paul gives a detailed account of the sins of a society that has forsaken God, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Pretty grim picture, I know. And this list so aptly describes the present state of our nation which often leaves me wondering if we are on the precipice of another dark age.

But there is hope. A sure hope in the person of Jesus Christ.

As we come to the birthday of our Lord in just of couple of days, it is important to remember that God lowered Himself and became man to save sinners. It is in Him alone that we find the solution to this mess. He is our Hope, our Deliverer, our Prince of Peace. He walked this earth too and witnessed tragedies like Sandy Hook. In fact, after Jesus was born, King Herod had all the baby boys age two and under killed in effort to keep the Messiah from arriving during his reign (Matthew 2:16-18). This is why Jesus willingly went to the cross. To defeat sin and death. It is at the cross that we find healing for our brokenness and where we find mercy and grace in a time of need.

Please join me this Christmas season in praying for all the families that were victimized by the events at Sandy Hook. Let’s also pray that God will use it to rip away the sin veil from our nation’s eyes and bring to light His holiness, grace, and mercy.

I want to close with a prayer from the Christian author Max Lucado, which I feel perfectly sums up our petition this Christmas season:

Dear Jesus,

It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.

The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.

Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.

This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.

Your Children


Kerri Halligan said...

Beautifully written. Since November, I have purposely not watched or listened to the news. I know nothing of the details of this horrific crime. I am finding myself more closer to God when I don't allow Satan to bring despair and evil into my heart and mind. We are witnessing the fall of a great nation because of our turning away from God. We are in dark days and God help us all, we as Christians need more than ever to be the light. I have hope only in that I know God is in control of the world's destiny. Another great job. Thank you Ann Marie for sharing your time and thoughts. Kerri

Anne Marie Donadio said...

Thanks Kerri. I appreciate your feedback and thoughts. The world is very dark. God is indeed in control and our nation still has time to turn back. The good news is our lights as Christians shine brighter as things grow darker.