September 11 is fast approaching. How will your church remember the 9/11 anniversary this year? It seems that in the dozen years since our country's heart and skyline were ripped apart, we still struggle with how to spend this day that represents such pain and, even to this day, fear. It seems to me that the church should lead the way in this effort.
9/11 has come to serve as a day of remembrance for the many trials we have endured as a nation over this past decade. The continued threats and anxiety created by ongoing terror threats have become, if not normal, an ever-present stressor. We wonder if we'll ever be free of that sense of unease in our daily lives. The Boston bombing served as a reminder of this new reality. Violence continues to tear at our country from within – the mass shootings in Arizona, Colorado, and Sandy Hook. The unthinkable stories of the innocent victims and instant heroes in these situations have seared our consciousness, leaving us reeling with grief and disbelief. Natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Sandy, and other destructive forces have scarred our land and our people.
We are weary. We wonder: will we get through these turbulent times? The answer from the pages of the Bible is a resounding YES. The story of Joseph reveals that even when life hits us with multiple blows, with God's help, we will overcome. That's why, on a day like September 11, the church should gather and remember that intended evil can become eventual good. Joseph faced a famine in his day, and he focused all his efforts on bringing life and nourishment to all. Today we face a famine of hope. As God's people, let's dispense courage and sustenance to our generation, offering a plan and a story of God's help and goodness.
That's how I plan to spend 9/11 this year. Won't you join me? My friends at The Salvation Army in New York City and I will host a beautiful service of hope and remembrance. We'll be simulcasting this event so you and your church can participate. If you're interested, please click here. We'd love to have you partner with us as we worship and remember that God is for us, and with His help, we'll get through this.
Let's lead a harvest of hope, together.