Summary: The terrorist attack on America is a 911 call to the Church
911: Christians Answering the Call
Ballard Assembly Pastor Bob Briggs September 16, 2001
This week America as we have known her took a dramatic and tragedy change of course as terrorists attacked the financial, military and governmental nerve centers of our great nation. Secretary of State Colin Powell has identified Osama bin Laden, a leader of a fanatical Muslim group, as the prime suspect in orchestrating this reign of terror.
I am sure we all have felt a wide range of emotions. From disbelief, as if watching something out of a Hollywood movie as the two planes struck what was the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, to horror as we watched the buildings collapse, to sympathy as the stories of families waiting for their mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles to come home when deep down we know most will not, to anger for those involved in this tragedy and other acts of terrorism to be brought to swift justice. My emotions have run the gamut.
America has drawn closer this week. Although a nation of diversity, we have pulled together, united in common cause. Setting aside for the most part political differences, we stand as one against this evil that has expressed itself on our shores. Continually through this ordeal that is not over yet, we have rallied together, prayed for the nation and for those who have died, innocent victims of the madness of some minds. President Bush quoted from Psalm 23, though we walk through the shadow of death, we fear no evil.
Before I get into the message, I would like to share with you the Pledge of Allegiance that Red Skelton said he learned from his schoolteacher as a boy.
I - - Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Pledge - - Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
Allegiance - - My love and my devotion.
To the Flag - - Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody’s job.
United - - That means that we have all come together.
States - - Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.
And to the Republic - - Republic--a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands
One Nation - - One Nation--meaning, so blessed by God.
Indivisible - - Incapable of being divided.
With Liberty - - Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one’s own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice - - The principle, or qualities, of dealing fairly with others.
For All - - For All--which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.
And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools, too?
We are a nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, principles that have sought to include not exclude, and principles which have sought to bring people together not to divide. Principles that have the love of Christ not the seething hatred that causes people to blow up planes loaded with innocent victims and places of work.
It is time for the Church to rise up and answer the call of this hour. It is time for the church to start a revolution, not of hatred of a revolution that mirrors the life of Christ in all of our actions, in all of our deeds. We have been given the 911 calls, a wake-up call, to respond to a world searching for answers to questions that seem to have no answer. Amidst the hopelessness of the moment, there is a sound of hope that the Church can bring to bear in the darkness of the hour, when people are asking the fundamental questions of life, searching for answers in the chaos of the moment. It is time the sleeping giants of faith be awaken from their slumber and called into action.