There is a natural tendency to wrap Christmas up in a sentimental bow. Yes, I enjoy all aspects of Christmas. I enjoy the music, even the old stuff on that prehistoric electronic device called the radio. Yes, I enjoy the lights and the worship, the busyness and even in the sad moments of this Christmas, with families experiencing bereavement. There is the sense of the presence of God.

But this week, as I watch young children being buried, I feel intense anger. How come! Why do we need assault weapons in a free country? Is it simply a mental health issues? As I deal with my anger, I am reminded of the slaying of innocents in the gospels.

Herod was pure evil. He wanted to manipulate the wise men. Then in in Matthew’s gospel 2:13, I see the grace of God working. One congressman stated that all principals should be given guns! Really!?

No, the heroes were the Principal who tried to stop the evil in the gunman, the teachers who protected the children, the first responders who cared so deeply.

Evil exists! But God’s grace embraces!

My hope is that our politicians wake up to the harsh reality of these times and act to prevent further violence.

Whatever our politics, our President was Pastor in Chief.

So at this Christmas time, pray for the families and community of Newtown, and hug your kids and grandkids.

God bless you all this Christmas time.