Monday, September 11, 2006

Today is the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. And as I was contemplating what to write on my blog, I thought it appropriate to at least say something about 9/11 today. My first thought is that for many like me who are far from where 9/11 took place (I am in Southern California), it is easy to only think about this event when someone talks about it, or when an anniversary approaches and it is on everyone's minds. I have to confess this does happen some. And yet, a second thought is in regards to people's response to the event five years ago. It seems that for many, the response was to seek out a church soon after the event (anywhere from the day of the tragedy to the Sunday following). I know that we had a prayer vigil the evening of 9/11/01. Why was this? I believe this terrible event left us feeling vulnerable and not in control. I believe that people were seeking out a spiritual answer or spiritual healing to this event.
I am grateful for my relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I am thankful that God is there to walk with me, and comfort me, and strengthen me, and guide me in the difficult times of my life. And I hurt for those who don't have this in their lives. I hurt for those, who when tragedy or trials come into their life, they don't know where to go or what to do.
That is why I believe that an anniversary like this should challenge Christians to make a commitment to daily be aware of those around them who might be burdened. I believe we need to take the steps to reach out to others who are hurting and talk with them and pray for them. And yet, this should be done in love, not with any kind of judgement.
Yesterday I preached on the text from the gospel of John, chapter 4. And one of the aspects of this text that spoke to me was how Jesus reached out beyond cultural barriers and without judgement was there for this woman, loved this woman, challenged this woman, and gave her spriritual direction that helped her to get past her bondage.
As we live out today, and every day, may we seek to reach out to those who are lost, who have gone astray, who are struggling, and share God's message of love and reconciliation. Tell me what you think.
Lord, I thank you for being with me. And because you are with me, you help me to care for those around me. Thank you for giving me a heart that cares for those who are struggling and hurting. Thank you Lord that I can share with others the love and comfort You give to me. As I think today on the 9/11 tragedy, may I relinquish control to You, and know that as I trust in You, You will lead me in right paths; You will guide me and lift me up to that place You have for me. Come and be upon all those today who have a heavy heart, and may I seek to be available to others for Your name and for Your sake. This I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who enables me to even come to You in prayer, and the One who gives my prayer power. Amen.