In this year where the unexpected seems to occur daily, we remember today a day when we were shocked by destruction. Wars followed that day of disaster; nineteen years later, peace talks will begin between the Afghan government and the Taliban that hope to end the first of those wars. We battle a virus now, but still we battle our fear. While now we may not always be able to meet together to worship, we still can live each day to the glory of God, praise him in prayer and song even if only in our heart, and love our neighbors by surrendering our rights to protect their lives. May we maintain community with other believers in Christ, even if only on Zoom, and relish each moment we worship together when we are reunited. Let us resolve anew to pray for courage and wisdom as we seek spiritual and physical health. We decide each day whether we will follow God or surrender to evil. May we discern correctly when what appears to be an angel of light is fact darkness incarnate. Pray hard, my friends, as you read the attached post from a previous anniversary of the terrorist attacks on this date in 2001.
A prayer I offered in 2012 front of an assembly from several nations in Kabul for Patriot Day (September 11):
O God, Creator of all, Sustainer of life, our Refuge from disaster, we commemorate today an event that awakened a nation and that forced awareness of vulnerability upon a world. As a nation, the United States of America sank to its knees in prayer as we reeled with disbelief. Even so, hundreds of citizens immediately responded, many dying themselves as they struggled to save those trapped within the targets of the terrorists.
Today we pray that you will restore our hope, that you will renew our faith, that you will energize us to defend liberty to speak, to worship and to assemble.
May we have the courage, when faced with evil, to stand firm in freedom, resisting the urge to retreat into authoritarianism and oppression.
Thousands have given their lives…
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