Many of us remember where we were on September 11, 2001 as an overwhelming tragedy left us numb, or sad, or confused, and subsequently angry, grieving, and shaking our heads. This year, for me it’s a curious call to perspective. I think of what happened nearly two decades earlier, and how my hand-wringing was quite similar to my present anxieties. In fact, I have lived through the Cold War, the fear-mongering of Y2K, the terror attack on the Twin Towers, and beyond… each time fearful the world has been shaken beyond repair (or that it was most certainly the end times). Some of our church members, older (perhaps wiser) than I, remember prior decades of chaos and division. History buffs recollect dark times that make 2020 pale in comparison, and faithful Bible readers can see periods that were far darker for God’s people. Perhaps my present palpitations about pandemics and politics should be mitigated by a God-given perspective. We have been here before, for better and for worse… and HE has been there with us, every time.
It’s not that I don’t see the memorial and grieve today… for those who died, for those who gave their lives, for those still living in the aftermath of lost loved ones. My heart even thinks of our first responders… firefighters and police… who right now – between fires and nationwide unrest – are facing very real peril like I have never known. They have my prayers. However, as I see the 2020 tribute lights at ground zero, stretching from terra firma to the firmament… I feel a great sense of comfort in the surety I have in a very real Creator and Father, Savior and King. Those lights for some may be striking heavenward as an abstract grasp for hope… in humanity, or something ethereal. But for me, they are pillars… reminding me of a God who appeared as a pillar of fire, and who connects with us through the illumination of the Incarnation.
Those lights are technically beaming upward, but when I see them fixed from cloud cover to earth, I’m reminded of the TRUE light that came down to our “ground zero” of sin and separation, bringing real reconciliation and ultimate victory, reconnecting us to the God of heaven, and ascending into those clouds. Every tribute of light I see is a glimmer – a small reminder – of the Light of the World. Every light aimed at the sky is our watchful eyes waiting for his return. So in the specifics of the day – 9/11 – it’s true: I will never forget. But what I need – what we ALL need – to make it through each and every day is to never forget what God has done for us through His only begotten Son.
May we never forget,
NOTE: this Sunday’s sermon is an important and timely topical sermon (and LAST week’s sermon provides a lead-in): we will be preaching on JUSTICE: biblical, social, secular, etc. There are no official “sermon notes” but links will be provided following the sermon on our website and more. Last Week’s Sermon (in case you missed it): Acts 19
Below are some helpful articles and links we recommend:
- Question of the week from gotquestions? –
Where was God on September 11?
- Persecuted Church: As we saw in Acts 19, demonic influence is real.
Pray for Khamla in Laos
- 60-second Psalm –
Your Saybrook Minute with Ben: Psalm 7
- Party on, DUDES! – Popcorn Theology w/Pastor James
on Bill & Ted Face the Music
- Article of the week: The State of Theology: what Americans believe about God, ethics, the Bible and more.
SUNDAY – Church YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/c/RefugeChurch