So, I was thinking that many of us are thinking about September 11th 2001 today. Our memories of that day may evoke many different feelings. When all is said and done, however, our remembering must always serve today and tomorrow and not be mired in the past. Resentments, hatred, fear, conspiracy theories must give way to honoring those lost; caring for those still struggling.
For people of faith our memories must also look into the rubble and dust of that day in September and see the sacrifice and death that took place outside Jerusalem on a cross on the day of the crucifixion of Our Lord, Jesus. Through that memory we will find the path to hope, peace, forgiveness and love that makes some sense of the tragedies throughout history – like September 11. We need to remember, as theologian Jurgen Moltmann said, “God weeps with us so that we may one day laugh with him.” God weeps in the tragedy and God will turn our mourning to dancing. That is the promise and that is the memory. Tonight, our confirmation students will, as they do each year, begin meeting people of other faiths in our area. On this September 11th, they will go to the local Islamic Center to be with other children of Abraham and learn of peace, mutual respect, and how faith and knowledge overcome fear. In so doing, the memory and sacrifice of September 11 is honored because hate is defeated by love and terror does not win.
Let us pray:
Holy One, on this day of remembrance, we lift to you the honored dead and the ones who still bear the marks of pain and grieving made on that day. We remember the sacrifice of police, firefighters, medical personnel, clergy, and so many others who gave life to others and who gave their lives for others. We remember our rage and terror; we remember our fear and hopelessness and we offer it all to you. Most importantly, O God, we remember you as the one who suffers with us in the smoke and rubble of life; we remember you as the one who brings life from death; peace from violence; hope from despair and love from hatred. We pray for your healing touch and peace on this day and all those to come. In the name of the crucified one, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Pax Christi, Pastor Tim