NEWS & NOTES
Our church will gather tomorrow evening to honor the life of Joshua Lionheart Martinez and to remember all the little ones we have lost before or just after birth. Please plan to be there at 6:30pm.
Of all the sorrows in this broken world, the death of our babies is most severe. It is the darkest moment of our night. The deepest invasion of hopelessness into our longings for better life.
In the novel Children of Men, author P.D. James imagines a future in which human fertility dries up. No more children are born. Inevitably, hope dries up, too. One character observes, "As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children's voices."
Every parent who has lost a child has tasted that despair. An empty playground. An empty cradle. These are our greatest fears—greater even than our own death—because children are the promise of life. They are God's promise to a dying world that he is still in the life-giving business. They are flesh and blood proof that our reason for hope is not wishful thinking. That death and darkness cannot claim victory just yet.
So when children die, when our babies lie lifeless in our clutching arms, we are undone. What hope remains?
There is no more fitting night to face such darkness than this Saturday. For the very next morning, a flicker of hope arrives. We will light the first candle of Advent this Sunday. And then another the following week. And twice more still, until the fullness of time has come and to us a Son is born.
The life of every lost child is hidden in the birth of Jesus. He is flesh and blood proof that not one will be truly lost. He is God's promise that death cannot win. By Christ's life and with his body, every empty cradle is filled with the promise of resurrection. Every empty heart is offered the hope of death undone.
The Advent of heaven's victory is here. And the only empty chamber left will be a tomb.
THIS COMING SUNDAY
SENT TO LOVE: LOVE OF FAMILY
1 John 4:7-12
Pastor Mark Bergin
Jesus was born into a Jewish family, a descendent of the great Jewish king David. God had long promised to restore the throne of David, to send a successor who would reign over the Jewish people in the love of God. Jesus was that promised king. Yet his own people rejected him. Familiarity tends to breed contempt. And a prophet receives no honor is his hometown and in his household. Jesus was sent into the world as God’s greatest act of love toward his chosen people. But how could he love a family that would not receive him? What good is love if it is unwanted? The answer to that question lies hidden in the very heart of God. His love is the sort that does not ask permission and does not turn when unrequited. His love is ever knocking, ever hoping, ever waiting. And it is this love that he promises to perfect in us.