The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

How long, O Lord?

The massacre in San Bernardino today was the second mass shooting in recent memory to occur during Advent. The first, of course, being in Newtown in December of 2012. It's upsetting to me that this is is a thing that occurs so regularly that it has sub-sets and patterns.

During Advent, these mass murders strike a different chord.

A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.

In 2012, the children in Newtown were killed on December 14--my mom's birthday--squarely in the middle of our season of hope. Of expectant anticipatory waiting for the Christ child to burst forth into our world of pain, crying out that God will make us new.

Pastor Dave put those words from John out on our marquee. We changed the hymns for Sunday morning.

Three years later, I'm in my car, thinking "do we have enough candles to light one for each victim at worship?" again. [#altarguildproblems, amirite?]

It's really painful to sing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and read John's cry from the wilderness...because we so desperately need it.

In a few hours, I'll be leading our Lessons and Carols service, where we'll read the prophecies and the familiar tales, and sing the words we likely know by heart--though with all the verses because this is church!

At first, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do it. Like, that I'd get four words out and then cry.

But I'm reminded that this is what we do here. The world around us crumbles, and we gather to sing and pray and eat.

Do this for the re-membrance of me.

No epiphanies, actually.