Summary: A complete service outline for Bethany Church’s 9.11 Anniversary Service, including a message of hope in the face of despair.
(Powerpoint available--email author)
9.11.01 REMEMBRANCE SERVICE
Welcome (video clip interviewing people with question “Where Were You?” From NAMB)
Remember Sept. 10—Last Day of Normal? (see NPR.org)—No? But remember where you were and what you did Sept. 11? YES! (Discuss my experience receiving call in church office from my son Shaun, etc.)
Opening Prayer (Max Lucado author)
At the September 15, 2001, satellite broadcast of "America Prays," author Max Lucado read the following prayer that he wrote in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on America.
Dear Lord, we’re still hoping we’ll wake up. We’re still hoping we’ll open a sleepy eye and think, What a horrible dream.
But we won’t, will we, Father? What we saw was not a dream. Planes did gouge towers. Flames did consume our fortress. People did perish. It was no dream and, dear Father, we are sad. There is a ballet dancer who will no longer dance and a doctor who will no longer heal. A church has lost her priest, a classroom is minus a teacher. Cora ran a food pantry. Paige was a counselor, and Dana, dearest Father, Dana was only three years old. (Who held her in those final moments?)
We are sad, Father. For as the innocent are buried, our innocence is buried as well. We thought we were safe. Perhaps we should have known better. But we didn’t.
And so we come to you. We don’t ask you for help; we beg you for it. We don’t request it; we implore it. We know what you can do. We’ve read the accounts. We’ve pondered the stories and now we plead, "Do it again, Lord. Do it again."
Remember Joseph? You rescued him from the pit. You can do the same for us. Do it again, Lord. Remember the Hebrews in Egypt? You protected their children from the angel of death. We have children, too, Lord. Do it again. And Sarah? Remember her prayers? You heard them. Joshua? Remember his fears? You inspired him. The women at the tomb? You resurrected their hope. The doubts of Thomas? You took them away. Do it again, Lord. Do it again.
You changed Daniel from a captive into a king’s counselor. You took Peter the fisherman and made him Peter an apostle. Because of you, David went from leading sheep to leading armies. Do it again, Lord, for we need counselors today, Lord. We need apostles. We need leaders. Do it again, dear Lord.
Most of all, do again what you did at Calvary. What we saw here last Tuesday, you saw there that Friday. Innocence slaughtered. Goodness murdered. Mothers weeping. Evil dancing. Just as the smoke eclipsed our morning, so the darkness fell on your Son. Just as our towers were shattered, the very Tower of Eternity was pierced. And by dusk, heaven’s sweetest song was silent, buried behind a rock.
But you did not waver, O Lord. You did not waver. After three days in a dark hole, you rolled the rock and rumbled the earth and turned the darkest Friday into the brightest Sunday. Do it again, Lord. Grant us a September Easter.
We thank you, dear Father, for these hours of unity. Christians are praying with Jews. Republicans are standing with Democrats. Skin colors have been covered by the ash of burning buildings. We thank you for these hours of unity.