Summary: Six years later -- where are we in the battle?
To the last generation, the assassination 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 our historical marker.
What were you doing? Where were you?
Today, as a church I want us to commit to continuing to fight for what is right. It is because men and women cared enough in the past to fight, that we have freedom today. President Abraham Lincoln once said to, "… give the last full measure of devotion". He was speaking about being committed all the way to something – and the example given by the men and women on that day and today ought to be an encouragement to us to be committed to Jesus as well.
Read Psalm 91:14-16, “Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
This morning, I felt that we should pause from Revelation and spend a little time looking back at the tragic events of September 11, and I believe that God chose to deliberately wait until the event had passed to not get caught up in the (pardon the word use) “trivial” remembrances. This past week we saw videos, tributes, and even calls to arms from Jihad warriors to stand up against the tyranny of the American people – but I want to ask you this morning – where is our call to arms?
Over the past few months we have been studying about a time coming upon this Earth of death, destruction, and hopelessness – and yet I believe that it seems unreal to many. Perhaps even people here in church believe that it is unreal – that it will never happen – so why bother?
On September 11, 2001, at 7:46 in the morning I was sitting at my desk when an e-mail appeared in my inbox that said a plane had hit one of the towers in NYC, and I thought surely this was some sort of tragic accident. I looked for a few things on the news, and of course saw the wreckage and immediately reflected on the passengers, their families, and what could have possibly gone wrong.
I sat stunned with an office full of people, as we watched a second plane impact the towers at 8:02 – which set off an immediate chain of events in our organization – to include my running downstairs, grabbing our commander, and securing her in an offsite location that was blast proof from any harm that may come to our unit.
In my heart, I knew that this had to be the work of evil persons, and that we were obviously at war. When the news reported the Pentagon impact shortly afterwards, my thoughts – honestly – went on auto-pilot to protect my organization and the leadership within it.
This was my battle cry – the heart of who I am as a GI – and I took it seriously.
We had a special opportunity in the auditorium where we offered students the chance to talk to someone who might help them through this time. I was able to counsel several young students who had families in the NY area, and we talked at length about their fears, and their desire to immediately run home and protect the family. They were instantly filled with patriotism, and they understood why they joined the military.
This was their battle cry – the heart of who they were – and they were committed to it.
Psalm 91 became a comforting reflection for me that entire day, and as I patrolled the compound ensuring that there were no threats that would harm my unit – or my family who lived just a few miles away.
The Word says that God promises to rescue us – to protect us – WHEN we cry out His name.
God says that because we do that, He will answer you and be with you in times of trouble. He will give you long life, and continue to show you His salvation – which is far more than a one-time deal.
Now, take a look at this past week as the events of 9/11 were relived all across America.
Families are still grieving for they know no comfort or joy over those events.
Friends are still missing loved ones and cannot “get over it” with a wave of a magic wand.