Not sure how to speak about joy after the news this Friday. This Sunday calls us to be joyful and glad; however a somber pall covers our nation and all people of good will; this Sunday calls us to joyfully know that our Lord is near; but too many of us question how could the Lord be so close and this tragedy still occur? May I offer the reply to John the Baptist when asked during difficult times….to return to the creator’s design for humankind; to return to charity, unselfish love, and gentle humility. In other words, return to the innocence of a child…. Perhaps this is the best way to honor them, as they truly represent what and who we await in the person of Christ. The one who like a child does not see the other as a threat or one who is different, but one to offer and recieve love. We may reflect on the joy of our own children, or our own child-like joys; and as a people of faith, perhaps to recommit again to that innocent joy, of wonder, of trust, of knowing that one is loved and cherished by another. For that childlike innocence is the joy that comes with this approaching holy day. Remember that childlike joy in our own lives, and perhaps we could commit it to our adult decisions, and how we can work together as a people. Work so that these tragic events that destroy that joy, that destroy the innocence that was never intended to be only of a child, but for all of us a children of God; will cease. We can commit to the restoration of humanity that Jesus came to provide.We can honor this tragedy by remembering and caring for our own goodness, our joys and innocence of our own childhood, to remind us and transform us, to the reason that Jesus comes among us…to bring us joy; by coming to us as a child.