Summary: A sermon for the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
Blessed are the Peace Makers
We live in a broken world.
Something has gone terribly wrong.
People are angry at one another.
They are angry and suspicious of people who do not look like them, do not worship the same god, do not live in the same country, and vote for the “other candidate.”
We are vulnerable.
And we are allowing our vulnerability to take us to places we never dreamed of going.
This is in great part, the legacy of September, 11, 2001.
This past week, I spent one evening watching, on YouTube, all three major network morning shows as they were broadcast on September 11, 2001.
If you get the time to watch at least one of these—I highly recommend it.
The morning news was going along as usual that Tuesday morning 15 years ago today.
On NBC Al Roker had just finished the weather.
It was going to be a beautiful sunny day in early September.
On CBS’ morning show, a couple of stars from the t-v show “Everyone loves Raymond” were being interviewed.
On Good Morning America Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer were about ready to move to a new segment…
…when, all of a sudden, there was a break in the usual routine…
…and a live video feed of one of the Twin Towers, with smoke billowing out the windows, took the place of what had just been another beautiful morning in America.
How could this happen?
This must be some kind of a mistake.
This has to be something which is less serious than it looks.
After-all, we live in America.
At first, of course, no one could figure out what was going on.
It was approximately 8:50 in the morning and the news anchors were speaking to folks on the phone who had seen, what they described as, a small commuter plane accidently crash into one of the World Trade Center buildings.
There was no talk of Terrorism right away, just bewilderment.
Could there be a problem with “air traffic control” people wondered.
Had the plane lost control?
One caller thought she had seen the plane try and swerve out of the way of the building.
Surely this was a terrible accident—a mistake.
As they were speaking, and as more and more Americans were starting to watch their television screens, a few minutes after 9 a.m. another plane—this time it was clear that it was a good sized jet—slammed right into the other tower.
The people on t-v went silent for a moment.
And then, Charlie Gibson on ABC began to talk, for the first time, about this being “no accident.”
America was under attack.
Thousands of lives were on the line.
New York City was in chaos.
We didn’t yet know that another plane would soon hit the Pentagon, and another headed for Washington, D.C.—perhaps the White House—would crash into a field in Pennsylvania after a heroic group of passengers rushed the cockpit.
Another thing we didn’t yet know is that September 11, 2001 would become a day that changed everything!!!
We lost a lot of innocence that day.
We lost a lot of freedom which we had come to take for granted.
We became less trustful of others…
…especially of people who look different and dress different.
We became a scared nation.
And angry nation…
…a Reactionary Nation.
And for the past 15 years we have been experiencing the different stages of grief.
The fifth and final stage of grief is acceptance that this is the new normal.
And that things will never be the same again.
And sure, we can never replace what was lost, but we can make the world a better place.
We can be a part of what God is doing; and that is creating a new heaven and a new earth—where things will be restored to the way things were originally meant to be.
These are exciting times.
Let us not be depressed.
Let us not be angry!!!
Instead, “let us go to the mountain of the Lord…”
“…He will teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in The Cost of Discipleship that “the followers of Jesus have been called to peace.
When Jesus called them they found their peace, for He is their peace.
But now they are told that they must not only have peace but make it.”
Does that make sense to you?
As Peacemakers, we are called to action.
Faith without action is dead!!!
We are to feed our enemies, love those who hate us, clothe those who have done nothing for us, provide food for those who ask, and spread the fire of love throughout our community and our land.
And in doing this we are working toward a new future…a future which is not just a repetition of the past.