Perspective and Prayer for 9/11--The Tenth Anniversary
We come today remembering that this date, this day is forever different, set aside and engraved in our memory. For those of us who were at least ten years old—this date is one where we remember each year where we were, who we were with, and our reaction to the tragedy that changed everything.
September 11, 2001—ten years ago on a day much like this day—a cool morning that brought a day full of clear blue sky with the promise of fall—barriers and boundaries changed. The unimaginable tragedy occurred.
The unimaginable—God has a way of working in our lives through unimaginable tragedy. Paradox—something that goes against common sense and that we know is impossible is now possible and our barriers and boundaries are permanently changed.
God’s ways are all about paradox—our ways are to explain, justify, and work really hard to maintain our boundaries and to keep change at a minimum.
Creator of all people, there was once a time when our belief was that the presence on a passenger airplane of hijackers meant that the airplane would be redirected to another destination. This boundary has been broken. We now believe that hijackers use passenger airplanes as weapons. A belief that is forever changed.
Lover of all people, our lives can change in a moment. Whether it is illness, divorce, death of a loved one, permanent injury, loss of employment, and a ongoing list of things that happen that are out of our control, we know that the words we say or the actions we take may well be the last words or the last actions that take place between us and another person who may be family, friend neighbor or stranger. Forgive us when our words or actions do not reflect your love.
Creator of all people, there are those you have called who work and serve as emergency responders—fire fighters, police, EMTs, law enforcement, physicians, and nurses—and those you call as counselors, priests, ministers who put their lives in danger physically and spiritually so that others may live. There are those you have called who run into danger and will give their lives, if necessary, so that others will have life.
Abba, Father today we especially remember those who literally ran into danger and sacrificed their lives on this day ten years ago so that others would live. The Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93 will always remind us of this paradox that remains a paradox—that someone would give up their life for a stranger so that that stranger could live.
Restorer and Reconciler, we pray for your continued healing presence, peace and assurance for those who are still grieving and missing their loved ones who died on this day ten years ago. We pray for your healing presence, peace and assurance for all people of all the nations who are grieving and missing their loved ones who have died in the battles and war that are still ongoing because of what happened on this day ten years ago.
Light of the universe that darkness cannot quench, let us always remember the greatest paradox of all that breaks all boundaries and barriers—you became flesh, lived among us, healed, reconciled and showed us the way to love and to live the abundant life and then willingly died on a cross, and rose from the dead for our salvation and eternal life. Laying down your son’s life so that all people may live and have the power of the Holy Spirit dwell inside of them and gain eternal life.
Adoration, glory, honor, praise, and thanksgiving we give to you as we pray together the prayer that reminds us, especially on this day, of the way you call us to live:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.