Summary: PENTECOST 11, YEAR A - A 911 sermon

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"I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace.

In the world you face persecution.

But take courage; I have conquered the world!"


How many here can remember what happened on Dec 7th, 1941? What about April 19th, 1995. How about Tuesday of this last week. On each of these dates our country has been attacked. Pearl Harbor Naval Base. The Oklahoma City Federal Building. The New York City Trade Towers & the Pentagon. Each event an act of War. Each incident carried out by unsuspected adversaries. In each of our lives, and in the life of our nation, there will be events that will forever change us, that will become defining moments for all that we will do and become. Cross roads along our journey where strangers become companions through those simple words, “Do you remember when...?” And in an instant the memories all come flooding back in. Memories of The Great Depression, D Day on Normandy Beach, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, when the towers came tumbling down. Little did any of us know in those moments how much those events would impact us, but looking back now, we know that they have. My mother-in-law vividly remembers the day the stock market crashed in 1929. She was 8 years old and didn’t have a care in the world. That morning she walked into the kitchen to find her mother crying at the table asking her father, where will we get food to feed the family. My mother-in-law is five feet tall and weighs over 180 lbs. She has an refrigerator and two freezers that are packed with food at all times. That childhood event so shocked her that she vowed that as an adult she would never be hungry again. It left her with fear and a compelling resolve to be prepared for the next great depression. We may have little control over the pivotal events that will come our way in life but we do have control over how we will respond to those events.

This week our nation has experienced a great tragedy that will forever change the face of America. We don’t know yet, in what way it will we just know that it will. So we have gathered here together this morning as a community of faith to seek strength from God, to find comfort and courage, and to determine for ourselves how we will live in light of this great tragedy. How can we live in the rubble of our loses? How can we rebuild a community that can overcome such tragedy and terror? How? By trusting in God because the God we serve is in the business of creating good from evil, life from death. We can overcome because God is with us. God has promised us “All things work unto good to those who love God and are called to His purpose.” It doesn’t say that all things are good, for there is evil in this world. What it does say is that God will take all things, even the evil of this world, and create from it good. God has promised us that nothing can separate us from God’s love, and God’s love has always been more powerful than evil. God’s love sent Christ. God’s love raised the cross. God’s love brought life from death.

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