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Summary: Special sermon for 9-11 honoring Police and Firefighers. Remembering their sacrifice, remembering the sacrifice of Christ, and remembering to lay down your life as a living sacrifice.

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Title: Remembering Your Sacrifice 09/08/02 West Side

Text: Romans 8:35-39 A.M. Service

Purpose: Special service honoring our local Police and Firefighters. A 9-11 Sunday Morning Service. May be used at any time.

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Introduction

Once in every lifetime something happens on the world stage, which shapes the course of human events. That event occurred one year ago on the morning of Sept 11th. Consider for a moment what was set in motion by the terrorist attacks of that day:

Our nations capital was attacked.

1. Over 3000 people lost their lives.

2. The Manhattan skyline was irrevocably changed.

3. The financial trade center for 150 nations was completely destroyed.

5. The world’s economy was greatly tested.

We waged a war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

But, a long-standing almost invisible war will be fought for years to come around the world.

That’s the big picture and it says nothing of the tens of thousands of people here and abroad whose lives were changed. Try to calculate the human toll emotionally and spiritually and you can’t. Only God can weigh such matters. But we try in feeble ways to understand. Events like these raise fundamental questions. Why is there so much evil in the world? Why do innocent people suffer? Where is God when tragedy strikes?

I am struck by how universal these questions are. They are as old as Job and are asked by the wisest people among us.

Question: Where were you?

A. Many were getting ready for work

B. Some where at school

C. Others might have just been getting their morning coffee.

No matter where you were, you remember those first few moments of unbelief. (Show slides…)

We witnessed horrific scenes of disbelief, uncertainty and confusion. We wondered why all this began to happen, and what did all this mean?

As I searched for pictures to use today, even though it was a year later, I found myself reliving those images again and again. I replayed the towers collapsing over and over. I could feel an emptiness in my stomach, and a heavy heartache in my chest. There was an overwhelming sense of helplessness.

In fact one writer put in words like this to describe the emotion of grief.

OUR YEAR OF GRIEVING

Author Edgar Jackson poignantly describes grief: Grief is a young widow trying to raise her three children, alone. Grief is the man so filled with shocked uncertainty and confusion that he strikes out at the nearest person. Grief is a mother walking daily to a nearby cemetery to stand quietly and alone a few minutes before going about the tasks of the day. She knows that part of her is in the cemetery, just as part of her is in her daily work. Grief is the silent, knife-like terror and sadness that comes a hundred times a day, when you start to speak to someone who is no longer there. Grief is the emptiness that comes when you eat alone after eating with another for many years.

Grief is teaching yourself to go to bed without saying good night to the one who has died. Grief is the helpless wishing that things were different when you know they are not and never will be again. Grief is a whole cluster of adjustments, apprehensions, and uncertainties that strike life in its forward progress and make it difficult to redirect the energies of life.


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