Many of us are still in a mournful/outraged/contemplative/prayerful mood after the shootings in Connecticut on Saturday. That’s normal. It’s how we react. It’s also normal that the children in our lives are mournful/Outraged/contemplative/prayerful mood. We will all continue to process this for weeks. I’m not stating anything unknown, we as we enter into conversations with children, we might feel that we will come up short, not having the answers that they need to hear.
I offer you this resource, Tips for Talking with Children, which I found helpful as I prepared for youth group last night. I received this from Lutheran Disaster Response. It shares the natural and likely feelings and issues after something like this. It gives us a response.
To those things, I added this as talked through this with my Middle School youth. Things like this are exactly what Advent is about. We look for the Hope of Christ, not just at Christmas 2000 years ago, but for the sake of the world today. We await his coming, knowing that he will make all things new. We need the hope of Christ, in every situation. The other point that I specifically made was in response to some Facebook happenings. Sever friends shared an image of a child asking God why so much violence was allowed in schools, and the response from God saying he was no longer allowed in schools. A friend shared that God is very present & alive in schools. He lives within us and goes where we go. We can show people the love and hope of Christ wherever we go, including school. these two thoughts had a huge positive impact on our conversation last night.