Is there anything else to be said about the unspeakable tragedy of Newtown last Friday? I continue to be surprised by my own emotions of fear and anger and deep, heavy sadness. One minute I am fine.

The next minute I am tight and resentful about something that doesn’t warrant it. The next I am awash in tears as I read about the children who are dead and their families who grieve. Six-year-old Ana’s dad wrote on his Facebook page, “I love you, sweetie girl.” I am unmoored. We used to refer to my daughter as “pink, love-y girl” because she was so rosy and flushed when she first woke up. My heart aches for the parents, wondering how they will go on, wondering how would I go on?

As I drift in this ocean of feelings, there is one thing that has anchored me: the body of Christ. I fell in love with my church all over again last Sunday. With the brave way Bridget fought through her own tears to keep reading the intercessions which begin, “Brothers and Sisters, our Lord Jesus Christ commands us to love one another as He loves us….” The way people shared their hearts, their questions, their presence. People showed up to church to ask God why and found some solace in one another. In the freedom to weep, in the freedom to just be, in the presence of a God who will not give up on us even as we give up on Him, in the remembrance that God lost a child, too.  Last Sunday, my church community gave me a piece of dry land upon which to stand and I am deeply grateful.

Together we created a container for our grief. Worship does that for us. And the very pain that threatens to separate and decimate us, when shared in the holy gathering, brings us closer, makes us stronger. We feel more a part of the Body, not less, more connected to God, not less.  Every year the darkness of Advent seems a little darker and the brokenness in humanity seems ever more broken. Yet every year the light comes. The darkness never wins.  And it is sweet and good and healing to experience the Christ in Christ Church.