We’re quickly approaching the 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on our country. September 11th has become a holiday of sorts, some have called it “patriot day” in an effort to recognize the heroism demonstrated on that terrible day. Now we commemorate, but not celebrate, the 10th anniversary of this event.
There are many things being done to remember this anniversary, and with the day falling on Sunday, it offers a unique opportunity for the church to come together to reflect and renew ourselves to the Lord.
I am planning on preaching on Nehemiah in September, especially as the Scripture relates that the walls had been knocked down and the gates had been burned. The people were in disgrace and morale was at a low point, and the enemies of Israel were making fun of their situation. It was time to pull together and get things done, and when Nehemiah heard about it, he was moved to tears because the Lord had put a burden on him to get this great project of restoration underway. The first thing he did was pray. There are 12 prayers in this book, and it is a phenomonal example of relying upon the power of God to accomplish a great task.
One of the things I remember about 9/11 was how the Congress came together and sang “God Bless America” on the steps of the Capitol building. It was a stirring example of unity, determination, and focus. We needed such an image to hold on to during a time when hope was the most important message we needed to hear and see.
My, how things have changed, and not in a good way. I won’t get into a lengthy presentation on how our country is struggling right now, but I do want to say at the same time that the church has a great opportunity to share its message of hope. My desire is for the people of God to respond to God’s calling of service and seeking the Kingdom of God first and foremost. As I heard one preacher say, “we are turning our calling into a career.” Some of us get paid for vocational service, and it can be a rewarding but stressful career in some ways. However, the ministry is a calling for all of God’s children regardless of whether they are “professionals” (not my favorite term) in church work or not.
It’s time to “rebuild the walls” in our homes, churches, and nation. May we use this remembrance to turn to the Lord in repentance and faith, believing he can help us accomplish great things in his Name.