Summary: A great way to pay tribute to 9/11 while maintaining Biblical stability.
To the last generation, the as-sasination of President John F. Kennedy was a historical marker. What were you doing? Where were you?
To this generation, the attacks on the World Trade Centers in New York City, the Pentagon in Virginia, and the crash in Shanksville Pennsylvania, on September 11, 2001 will be a historical marker. What were you doing? Where were you?
Today, we salute the men and women in uniform who gave their lives that day, and who continue to this day, as President Abraham Lincoln said, "give the last full meausre of devotion".
Police offices, firefighters, emergency personnel and military personnel, all live lives of com-mitment, dedication, and sacrifice in helping others, and serving the community.
These are Christian virtues. They don’t make one a Christian, but they are characteristics that should mark the lives of those who follow Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, "Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will pre-serve it." (Luke 17.33 NOT ON OUTLINE)
RECITE Pledge of Allegiance
I. ONE NATION
A. Our diversity is our strength
1. Despite it’s faults and problems, the US contin-ues to be a destination country
2. Our country has been called a "melting pot"
„« in a true melting pot, the items all blend to-gether and are indistin-guishable from one an-other
3. Our makeup is changing
B. This is also true of the Body of Christ
1. "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body¡Xwhether Jews or Greeks, slave or free¡Xand we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many." -- 1 Corinthi-ans 12.12-14
2. We are all different, but that diversity should be our strength
3. Is everyone the same? No. But everyone works together, and pulls together.
4. "In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most neces-sary. And the parts we regard as less honor-able are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect from the eyes of others those parts that should not be seen, while other parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other equally. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. Now all of you together are Christ¡¦s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it. -- 1 Corinthi-ans 12.22-27 (NLT)
II. UNDER GOD
A. There are innumerable historical references that affirm our country was formed on the Judaeo-Christian ethic
1. Even as recently as the 50s and 60s
2. The God of the Bible is referenced throughout our founding docu-ments, and other gov-ernment institutions
3. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD¡K" -- Psalm 33.12
B. At the same time, we must be respectful of other be-liefs
1. Freedom of religion is one of our ten basic rights
2. CS Lewis’ comments on the hearts of man that is common (common law?) across ethnic boundaries
„« "Even when Gen-tiles, who do not have God¡¦s written law, instinctively follow what the law says, they show that in their hearts they know right from wrong." -- Romans 2.14 (NLT)
3. Paul reminds us to pray for our country
„« "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior"
-- 1 Timothy 2.1-3
A. Unity is threatened when it becomes all about my rights.
1. In the days after 9/11 (a $10 trillion economy came to a complete stop), flags sprouted everywhere
2. "What can I do to help?"
3. And I was proud to be part of a country who rallied around their countrymen
4. We say, "United we stand"
5. Unfortunately, when we were urged to "get back to normal", we did¡K
6. And selfishness and partisan politics came roaring back
B. The same is true of the Church
1. "until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." -- Ephesians 4.13
2. Ah. Maturity. Acting like an adult. Not always evi-dent, is it?