The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 9/11

Posted on | September 11, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 9/11

scripture reading: Matthew 5:43–48

9/11/01

Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. (Hebrews 12:28)

Memories come in like a flood when we remember that Tuesday morning in September when the towers fell. Most of us can remember where we were and what we were doing when the news of the terrorist attacks reached us. No one was unaffected. But now years have passed. How should we as American citizens commemorate such an event? Wave the flag and kindle a spirit of patriotism? Persevere in the “war on terror”? Use the occasion to highlight the menace of militant Islam in the world today? More importantly, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, how should we remember what happened? What do the Spirit and the Word have to teach us on a day like today?

Let me suggest that remembering 9/11 gives us a God-ordained opportunity to:

,. Identify with millions in the rest of the world. For decades we in America lived in a bubble, far removed (we thought) from the terror, injustice and violence that so many on our planet face on a daily basis. 9/11 has given us the privilege to truly understand what millions around our world face routinely.
,. Trust in God. After the attacks, churches in America were full for one simple reason: where else could we go when the foundations were shaken? Though that “back to God” movement was short-lived, for one brief moment our nation actually lived out the faith that is printed on our money: “In God we trust.”
,. Love our enemies. Jesus commanded his followers: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you, and when you are wronged, turn the other cheek (Luke 6:27– 29). Such words are only pious platitudes until something like 9/11 happens that gives us a chance to actually practice what we preach!
,. Be a witness for Jesus Christ. Cultural leaders have urged a wide variety of responses to help us appropriately commemorate what happened on September 11. Some counsel a military solution. Others would have us put our hopes in politics. Still others pretend that “time will heal all wounds.” But there is only one ultimate solution: the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus solved the problem of suffering by suffering. Then he sent his disciples into the world to do the same.
,. Thank God for the Kingdom that cannot be shaken. When the towers fell and the Pentagon burned, we suddenly realized how shaky are the foundations on which our nation is built. 9/11 reminds us that ultimately there is only one Kingdom that cannot fail: the Kingdom of God. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea (Psalm 46:1–2).

And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us, we will not fear for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us. —Martin Luther

point to ponder • Do you love your enemies? Do you pray for their well-being?

prayer focus • Thank God for the un-shakeable kingdom that he has established.

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