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Child Sacrifice

Child Sacrifice

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Published by John Bost
My attempt to make preliminary sense of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
My attempt to make preliminary sense of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Published by: John Bost on Dec 16, 2012
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12/16/2012

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Child Sacrifice
John Bost, Senior PastorHoly Cross, Livermore, CADecember 16, 2012 (Following the Newtown, Conn. Shooting on Friday, Dec. 14)
I have no words. All I have are words. Words fail us. Words save us.Gun law words.Mental health words.Evacuation plan words.Media blitz words.Obituary words.Community words.Church words.Why words.How words.Words that will never be spoken at graduations, weddings,baptisms.The kind of words that we need to exist, but do not exist, words.Right words.Wrong words.Words that should never occupy the same sentence, much less the same physical space,likechildandsacrificeandmassacre
 
andmurderandinnocence.Words to describe.Words to define.Words to make meaning.Words to make sense.Words to make love.Words to make peace.Words to make whole.Words to build bridges.Words to bind up the broken-hearted.All we have are words.If only
 
words were all we had, then we would be okay, as far as okay can take us.But words are not all that we have.We have bullets and guns, too, and the barely noticeable movement of a tiny muscle on a coldtrigger to put in motion an inches long bullet to forever extinguish the bright light of a beautifulchild.We have unrecognized and untreated mental health diseases. We have an unfettered cultureof violence. We have families who are struggling. We have schools with more needs than
resources. We have deep, deep problems…
 
…and words.
 
 
And from a fire house in Connecticut, not just words, but the sound and lament of tears andguttural wails, the kind that almost do
n’t sound human; inexplicable
human sounds as parentswait for their child, but she does not come.The silence is deafening. On Friday it is wretched silence, noting the absence of all absences.
What we wouldn’t give for a word.
 Words.Wait. Here comes another child.Wait. Here comes another child.Wait. Here comes the school principal.Wait.Wait.
What we wouldn’t give for a single word
in the end.Wait
 
a single word in the beginning was the Word. And the Word became flesh and lived amongus.Why not just a Word? Flesh is too much to risk.
Did God not know, in all of God’s infinite wisdom, that a bullet has no effect on a word? A word
does not experience mental anguish. A word cannot bleed. A word cannot be frightened. Aword cannot be extinguished.But flesh. Oh, God, why flesh? And bone. And blood. And muscle. And matter. Why all these?
Don’t you know what flesh is capable of? Don’t you know what happens
when the prophetsare wrong and
weapons aren’t turned int
o plowshares and justice does not flow like a mightystream?Flesh. The word after the Word. A wretched-sacred risk.What it must have been like for mother Mary and father Joseph to wait at the fire house for ason that did not come home. Had Jesus remained a Word, no one would have thought tofashion a device of torture to blot him out.

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