Death in Newtown

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by Christine Berglund

The Scriptures are full of stories of struggle; good against evil, light versus darkness. Even the account of the world’s creation tells about God separating the light from the darkness, and so it will be until the end of time.

Death and destruction are all around us day by day. As we approach the shortest day of the year, we witness our plants freezing and dying. The tender plants die first, then slowly all life seems obliterated from the garden.

No part of nature is exempt from decay and death, especially not mankind after the Garden of Eden. It is true that death is an inevitable part of life, and a passage to a greater life; but when children are taken suddenly, it leaves us numb with horror.

The most innocent of lives were senselessly gunned down on Friday in the friendly little town of Newtown, adjacent to my own Connecticut hometown.

Our minds cannot comprehend this. Words seem useless and insufficient. The massive scale, a whole classroom full of little children, is so horrific that it sickens our hearts.

A similar scene played out after the birth of our Savior. Here is the grisly account.

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not” (Matthew 2:18-19 KJV).

Can you imagine the anguish in Bethlehem and all who heard about those babies being murdered because Herod felt threatened for his throne?

There was no such threat; since the Kingdom that Christ came to set up was the church, not an earthly monarchy. The killings were senseless, no matter what went on in the twisted mind of the one who conceived them.

All such murders are senseless. We weep for the millions of babies never allowed to live. Our hearts ache for the many children who are truly hungry or sick around the globe, or young ones who are struck down with cancer.

My arms ache for my own children who were not born alive, even though I never saw their little faces nor held their tiny hands. Like a rosebud happily getting ready to open just before the frost comes, some lives are never given the chance to blossom.

We have comfort in knowing they are safe with the Father now, but this comfort and knowledge should be the seed for action. What about our lives, those of us who have been given the gift of more time?

How do we spend our days and decades? The Bible says to “redeem” that time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).

As we live in and around the constant battle that seemingly defines our lives, we have to stop and think why we are given this time?

One type of death does make sense — ours. Romans 3:23 says that is what we earned as the result of sin. Yet it was paid in full when Jesus died for us!

Allow the King who was feared by Herod to be your ruler.

“For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (I Corinthians 15:26).

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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