By any other name

Just days ago we heard of the tragic killing of innocent kindergarten children and staff members in Connecticut. Horrific. Unthinkable. Heartbreaking. My heart weeps for each and every family member who is suffering the loss.

Today, we will celebrate the coming of our Savior -- His miraculous birth. Two major events -- one devastating, filled with hatred and violence; the other filled with unending love and hope. So how can they both be a part of our world? Why, when our Savior Jesus has come to set us free, do we still have events like the school shooting at Sandy Hook  Elementary?

Many blame the guns. Many blame the violent video games. Many blame the violent movies. Many blame the music. While each of these things can be a contributor in some way to such a heinous act, I believe that they are all just products that have come from a culture of death -- a culture that calls evil good. A culture that justifiably weeps for those children whose lives were snuffed out, yet sits back and makes legal the brutal killing of innocents in the womb. The spirit of death -- a powerful evil. A powerful tool of the devil to destroy and bring about despair.

Most would agree to the concept of subliminal messages -- those things that are just under the surface -- seen, yet unseen. Abortion is an intrinsic evil. Still, we don't call murder of an unborn baby what it is because we don't see it happening -- but it still exists. It happens behind closed doors while the rest of the world "carries on." Worldwide, nearly every second of every day, a heart stops beating -- a cry is silenced.

My prayer for this blessed Christmas season is that the blinders be removed from the eyes and ears of those who would call evil good. Those who blame guns rather than the shooter. Those who would blame the vehicle rather than the drunken driver. Those who would blame the airplane rather than the person who flew it into the building.

I pray for each of us to sincerely ask ourselves why the world no longer values life. I pray especially, for our president who tearfully mourns the children of Sandy Hook Elementary, but does not weep for the innocent baby who lies peacefully in his mother's womb just before being slain -- the nearly 56 million murder victims in the United States alone, who, much like the victims of this shooting, are "beautiful little kids ... who had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own" (from the president's speech).

Please, baby Jesus, work a miracle of love and comfort in the hearts of those who are suffering the loss of their precious children and loved ones because of the spirit of death that is upon us. Please, baby Jesus, work a miracle of love and truth in the hearts of those who cannot see the evil that lies at the heart of abortion,  euthanasia, and all anti-life policies. May God have mercy on us all. Amen.

Elizabeth Schmeidler

Hays