Monday, September 11, 2006
Today is September 11, 2006. I am sure that by the time you are reading this message you will have realized that it is the 5th anniversary of the world trade center attack, so my purpose in writing this email is not to tell you that (though if you had not realized before, consider yourself informed). My intention in writing today is to reflect on what happened on September 11, 2001 in a way that might encourage you to live the life that God has called you to today.
Different people have different thoughts regarding 9/11 and what has ensued over the last five years. It is strange to think that it was already five years ago. A lot of things have changed in our Country and the world since then, some good and some bad. It is quite probable that everyone that is reading this message has a different set of opinions as far as the US response to terrorism, the war in Iraq, and other related issues are concerned. I could say a lot about those things, but I would rather use my time here to do something else. I want to talk to you about something else that I have been thinking of a lot today. I want to talk to you about the Church.
What does the church have to do with 9/11? Everything. At least, it should. For most people there is probably little correlation between the two and I think that is a problem. Now, I'm not talking about the local church that you might attend. I am talking about the Church as it is intended to be. I am talking about those of us who have died to ourselves and are truly living in service to God. I am talking about those who actually seek to follow Christ and live a life centered upon loving God and others. That is the Church.
I hope that you took a moment today to remember those who died in the World Trade Center attacks five years ago. I also hope that you thought about all the other people who have died in the aftermath, both Americans and others. But I also hope for something else. I hope that you lived a life of love today. I hope that in the midst of the memory of something terrible, you loved on those around you. I hope you were a part of the Church today, that your life and the actions you took today reflected the presence of God in your life. That is a better memorial to the sanctity of human life than any words that we might utter.
Live a life of love. Live a life filled with compassion that not only honors God, but that brings His kingdom to earth. Live the life you are called to live. This is a world that is filled with pain and sorrow. Recognize that reality, mourn for those who have suffered, but do not stop there. Fight against it, not with the weapons of the world, but with something bigger than that. Enter into the great story of the kingdom of God. Become a part of the adventure of what it means to truly follow Christ with all of your being. Be the Church. Be a catalyst for God's redemptive and restorative work in creation. Join with countless others who have dedicated their lives to something bigger than themselves.
I'm not talking about accepting Christ as your personal savior. I'm not talking about professing Christianity. I'm talking about living a life that is radically transformed by the reality of God's presence in our lives. If we live like that then we will begin to truly impact the world around us and the focus just might shift from hate and terror to love and compassion. Remember the past, but do it by living fully in the present. Don't let this day, or any other go by without love. Bring Heaven to earth by loving the world around you. Be a part of the redemption of creation rather than its destruction.