Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tragedy, Evolution and Christmas

Someone posted photographs of the school children lost in Sandy Hook. The pictures were unexpectedly difficult to view. The difficulty came when a seemingly random thought reappeared--a thought I had the other day, then forgot as it wandered off to wherever it is wandering thoughts go when they wander. Well, this particular thought decided it was time to return home, and it slammed the door upon arrival.

The thought was this: if we are a the outcome of evolution process, a mass of tissue responding to chemical reactions and impulses, then why does tragedy matter? If evolution were true, then those who cause destruction on others are demonstrating strength and the power necessary for survival. Yes the question remains: how can this be survival when the assertive ones destroy themselves? Ernest Hemingway was a man who lived powerfully, strongly, assertively then took his own life because he was convinced that even in death, he was still in control, living life to the final moment. The difficulty is that life did not really matter, which is why death was no threat to him. Then.

There must be another option where people do matter, and the evidence of this option is seen in the reaction of those behind left in the wake of tragedy. I am not making light of events like Sandy Hook, nor am I making light of the nearly 107 deaths per minute, worldwide. The point is that we mourn when people are lost because we are living souls. We seek justice because we are living souls. If we were not, then tragedy and those who cause them must be shrugged off. Evolution sees no tragedy. Evolution sees process.

Here’s another thought: over 2000 years ago, a king named Herod ordered the execution of babies. Not unborn children, but living children. This was not the first time such an order was carried out, nor would it be the last. Herod was after one specific child, born and receiving worship as King of Kings.

The Sandy Hook event suddenly becomes more important because the world Jesus was born was no better than today. It may have been worse, actually.

Jesus was born because people matter to God and those who see people as God sees them, then other people are significant. People are not merely “matter” but living souls facing an eternity. This is why we can see that God did not permit Sandy Hook. A man did not obey God nor see others as God sees. Any love that remained in him flipped itself over to apathy toward fellow human beings and hatred toward God.

Christmas has a new light this year and events such as this should drive us to the Savior, the Prince of Peace.

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