12/17/2012 03:03 pm ET Updated Feb 16, 2013

Save Our Children: A Christmas Wish and Prayer

This is not the time to take Christ out of Christmas but to put the child into Christmas -- not for presents but for prescience.

Let us do that by celebrating the innocence of those who will not celebrate Christmas this year because of the Connecticut schoolhouse shootings. Let us do that by learning from this tragedy and dedicating ourselves to making this country a safer place for all of our children. Let us do that by praying to God, no matter what our religious persuasion, for peace and comfort during this season of rebirth and renewal.

With this in my mind, we offer the following wish and prayer for this holiday season.

Dear God,

Some children see you lily white,
Some children see you bronzed and brown.

Some children see you almond-eyed
Some children see you dark as they.*

Some children do not see you
But now they are with you.

Please care for our children
Who left us too soon.

Give them the gifts
Of eternal joy and light.

Please care for our children
Who are still here

Give them the gifts
Of awe and wonder.

Please care for all of us
Young and old alike.

Give us the gifts
Of wisdom and will.

As we head toward the New Year, our hearts may be broken but are heads are not. We can choose to rationalize what happened and call only for better school security or mental health assistance. Or, we can ask what would God do?

We can't be certain of that. But, we believe that God would say, "Take care of the children." We believe that God would say, "Protect each child's right to life." We believe that God would say, "Bear witness and not arms."

We believe that God would have us unite to silence those guns that are weapons of mass destruction. We believe that God would advise us that this is not a Second Amendment or political issue but one of humanity and inhumanity. We believe that God would call upon us to act courageously on behalf of the children.

That's what we believe. We also believe that this is more than a legal matter. It is a moral and spiritual one. It is a question of doing the right thing.

More than 2000 years ago a child was born in a manger in Bethlehem and brought hope to the world. Let us hope that the needless deaths and wanton slaughter of 20 children in Newtown, Conn., will bring sanity to our nation and its gun policies. We owe that to them and to all of our children.

This is our Christmas wish and prayer for 2012. Our fondest wish and strongest desire is that we will not have to repeat it again next year.

*First four lines of prayer adapted from Christmas carol, "Some Children See Him."

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