The Mingling of Joy and Sorrow

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice.” Psalm 130:1

Outside the concert hall snow softly fell. Inside there was a holy hush as the soloist plaintively sang,

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking, how we need to hear from God. You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting; welcome Holy Child.”

Little did we know that less than twenty-four hours later, four people would lie dead outside places of worship in our area, victims of an unknown gunman. Words so beautifully sung became cries of broken hearts. Many who were in that concert audience recalled other haunting words of the beautiful Christmas song by Chris Rice:

Bring your peace into our presence, bid our hungry souls be filled, wrap our injured flesh around you, rob our sin and make us holy.” Poetic words turned into heartfelt prayer.

The story of Christmas is one of beauty – and also of impending sorrow. We easily forget that the child of the manger grew up to be the man of the cross. It is at times like this we are reminded to not neglect either aspect of the story.

O loving Lord, even in the midst of these beautiful days of celebration, give us hearts to feel the sorrow of so many around us. Calm their fears, catch their tears. May they feel Your presence.

By Marilyn Ehle
Used by Permission

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