Originally posted 9-11-05
Some of you can talk about where you were and what you were doing on December 7, 1941 when Pear Harbor was attacked and our nation was forced into a World War. No question about it, everything changed that day — and down to this day almost 65 years later it remains true.
The same thing can be said about September 11, 2001. Everything changed that day. All of us can remember where we were and what we were doing that morning, and as a result our world has been dramatically changed. This is such a moment in history that we can talk about it in shorthand. No one talks about September 11, 2001. We simply say: “9-11.” The phrase, “World Trade Center” is filled with facts and emotions.
9-11 proved to us once again just how bad people can be. In it we see murder in one of its most freighting forms — the taking of innocent life on a mass scale as nearly 3000 lives are taken that day. The events of that day open doors of understanding that frighten us and cause us to recoil in horror.
9-11 proved to us once again the heroism of ordinary people. First responders risk, and loose, their lives, trying to rescue strangers. Passengers on an airline add another phrase to the common vocabulary: “Let’s Roll.” People around the world respond with an outpouring of anger and compassion.
9-11 proves to us once again our great need of God. People who haven’t prayed for years, who even would argue against the existence of a Supreme Being complain, “Where was God?” People who rush to provide assistance, who weep with those who weep, who give sacrificially affirm that God is right here, among us. In the face of murder we remember that we need mercy. In the face of loss and pain and weakness we seek his strength. On 9-11 all pretense that we are self-sufficient is lost. On 9-11 a realization of God’s faithful strength and help is renewed.
Today we remember 9-11. We remember the lostness of the world. We remember lives that were taken. We remember our helplessness in the face of determined evil. We also remember God’s goodness and his faithfulness through ordinary people.
These things we remember.