Moving Beyond the Shadow of 9/11
I can vividly remember that morning of September 11, 2001 like many of you. I was writing a sermon that quickly changed in its content and purpose as I planned for the Sunday following a national disaster. By the end of the day, our sanctuary was seeing a steady flow of members and guests who felt drawn to prayer and a holy place in a time of chaos and uncertainty. Life is different now as we stand at the tenth anniversary of those tragic events. Going through the airport is more time consuming and detailed. When I get seated on a plane, I look over the crowd and pray for peace to reign in our hearts. I pray more for our nation's soldiers, firefighters and police officers and am much more grateful for the sacrifices they make. I fly the flag intentionally and more often than in decades past. Yet I know its time to move forward and refuse to live in the shadow of an event created by evil people and terrorists who detest freedom and the way of life we cherish here in America. Its time to stand up and say we will not live in fear, dread or anger. Its time to pick up all the loose pieces in our nation and community and be one nation united by love of freedom and reclaim that we truly trust in God. Its time to walk forward and not look back - to imagine and work for peace on earth, to find ways to dialogue with people with whom we disagree and bring opportunity to the masses who feel trapped in poverty, tyranny or that they are forgotten.
It's time to take all this emotion and apply this energy as a nation to serving others. The one common denominator for the survivors and the families who have lost loved ones and yet thrived in the midst of this struggle is their desire to help others and find places to serve based on what they learned through this tragedy. Let there be a new beginning and let us find it through selfless service in our communities and everywhere God sends us or causes a need to fill our hearts and minds.
I like the bright glow of the lights that arise where the World Trade Towers once stood. I pray that we reflect this positive light as we move out of the shadows of 9/11 and into the bright future God has in mind for all nations, including our own. Let your light so shine before others that they will see your good deeds and give glory and praise to God above.