Terrorism and the Christmas Child

“The biggest human tragedy Pakistan may have ever seen. No words can suffice. Even as a mother it haunts me to even try to relate. Allah Rehm” – Maryam Nawaz Sharif
 

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Such expressions of grief & gunned-down dreams covered large portions of news. A tragedy that has left deep scars across the face of a nation, the massacre of 132 school children in Peshawar by a terror group has created waves of outrage and shock. To pay respect to what the dear ones of those victims are going through, I won’t even try to assume that I can feel their dark grief and fury. We as a church, Marg, are truly sorry and saddened, and are praying to Jesus for you in Pakistan.

People who heard this news responded in different ways. I steeled my heart up to not get depressed because I didn’t want the unbelievable shock to hit me- which it did eventually. Others in my church family had real, tough, questions –

What if this was MY child in a coffin?

How can God let a tragedy of this scale happen?

These powerful questions of grief & justice I will pass by,  for now is not the time.

Meanwhile, how does all this affect your Christmas?

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Pause your happiness-coated, Santa-overdosed excuse of Christmas. Just as the original Christmas had tragedy in very real circumstances, let’s wrap this tragedy around Christmas’ message.

We are in for a subdued season with such terror attacks. It might surprise some that a terrifying act of murder of children is part of the first Christmas story.
Jesus’ parents on earth narrowly escaped the fate of Peshawar’s mourning parents when they escaped (Matt 2:13-14) from King Herod, a man vicious enough to kill his own family members. Herod was fearful-insecure- at the birth of a King worthy of worship (Matt 2:2) and orders the killing of every child, 2 years and younger, in that area.
It is right to expect justice and vengeance executed upon the perpetrators of evil whether in Bethlehem then or in Pakistan today. But let’s not forget that the Christmas child came to destroy the works of the devil(1 John 3:8). It is for that reason that as Marg we will rejoice this Christmas. If there is any real hope in this bleak season, it is in Him who rescues us from the same self-absorbed attitude & heart these terrorists have.

How would you make Christmas more meaningful in the light of the immense suffering that has happened in Pakistan?

Are there ways you could make Christmas a true gift to these hurting people?

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