The 10th anniversary of September 11 arrives Sunday with politics and positioning hitting the airwaves, print media, and blogs. Who is at fault? Who is to blame? Who wants to shed perceptions? What should we do on that day? Islam is selling a self-promotion campaign of apple pie and baseball – the all American faith. The American President wants you to participate in a community service project that day. It’s as if others are attempting to define that day for you without the images of hate, destruction, and tragedy. Even though it has been ten years, I still remember where I was on that date – remembering all too well the images of the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon, and the open field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania – thousands lost their lives on that day. I remember the feelings of uncertainty, unsettledness, and concern as America was under attack from an unseen and illusive enemy. This war we were unprepared to fight. In the days and weeks that followed, the enemy was identified. Though the faces of our attackers have changed, the battle still rages. This subversive anti-American cause still exists and flourishes across the globe. This is a cultural battle about systems, ideology, and religion. As long as the American ideal thrives, this war continues.
The worst thing we as citizens could ever do is become complacent. Battles aren’t won in complacency, but in preparedness, valiance, and perseverance. May we never forget September 11, 2001! The freedoms we enjoy today are at the core of the battle. Freedom, opportunity, and choice are up for grabs. Democracy is despised; the American ideal reviled globally. As a nation, America must remain ever vigilant. We must protect her borders, her interests, and her causes! We must not slumber on this watch. May we be found good stewards of the entrustment.
And what about the church? What’s her role in all of this? What is our calling? We must remember, honor, work, and pray. We remember the loss and the cost. We honor those who served, gave, and sacrificed. We must not sit, but bear the banner of truth. Let us remember the great commands. We must love God and others – become neighbors to those in need. Let us live out the great commission – making disciples. Let us work tirelessly to carry the gospel to every corner. The mere existence of evil should both cause and challenge the church to rise and carry the light into very dark places. THE ANSWER IS CHRIST – the hope and salvation of our day.
As we prepare for September 11, may we never forget.