Summary: The terrorists attacks on the symbols of American power have not diminished the the power of the cross.
SCRIPTURE: “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in a time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Psalm 46:1-2;The Lord of hosts is with us the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalm 46:11.
How did you feel when you heard the news of terrorist attack on the World Trade Center? When you heard of the second plane crash, what did you feel? When you heard that another plane had crashed into a section of the Pentagon and yet another had crashed outside of Philadelphia, what was your reaction? If you are like most Americans, your reaction was that of horror, anger and a terrible sense of insecurity. No one expected that in our nation, that it would be possible to literally bring the world’s most powerful nation to a screeching halt. This week we learned that our sense of safety and security has been misplaced because despite what we have been told, we are extremely vulnerable as a nation and as individuals.
As we watched with terrified eyes the total destruction of the World Trade Center and witnessed the debris and carnage of lost lives and property, many people came to another astonishing realization.. “we no longer feel safe!”
The attacks seemed to target the obvious symbols of power in America.
The World Trade Center, towering at 110 stories high, represented the essence of American economic power. It was the home of giant American financial corporations, which operate, control and direct financial operations around the world. It was the one symbol the world recognized as an icon of American economic strength. The picture of the World Trade Center crumbling into the dust shook our sense of economic security.
The pentagon is the symbol of American military strength. In its walls the security of the entire nation is planned and executed. The movements of millions of soldiers, battleships, missiles and aircraft are orchestrated from the Pentagon. It is well guarded by armed soldiers, anti-aircraft guns, radar, and electronic security of the highest order. In our collective mind, the thought of an enemy, foreign or domestic penetrating such a defensive area was unimaginable. But when a hijacked jet liner crashed into the pentagon, killing hundreds, and wounding even more, we were intimidated. Our sense of military security was shaken.
The White House and Camp David are the residences of our national leader. They are protected by armed guards, air and land security, and the latest in technological advances. On any given day the President of the United States, the Vice President, Chief of Staff and many other leaders of the nation may all be assembled in the same building at the same time. When we learned that a fourth plane is believed to have targeted the president himself and was probably steered off course only by the brave intervention of passengers on board, we were shaken again. When we saw the President being shuttled from one place to another, ducking and hiding to avoid death while trying to lead the country at the same time, our sense of political security was shaken.
When we rode airplanes we felt safe. When we opened packages received in the mail, we felt safe. When we walked the streets of our nation, we generally felt safe from attack from foreign enemies, even if we were a bit intimidated by the enemies within. No matter how the nation responds to the tragedy and the tears of this week, the feeling of security we have known throughout the history of this nation will be lost forever.
Yet, beyond the tragedy and the tears, the terror and the fears, one symbol still stands strong, it is the old rugged cross!
The cross represents the one power in the world that has not and cannot be toppled by terrorism, crashing planes or evil empires. It represents the power of God himself. Christians, more than all others, are reminded that the power of the cross should reaffirm our feeling of safety and security. Our feeling of security is rooted in our faith that God is still on the throne and still controls the universe.
That’s why the song writer declares, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine. Heir of salvation. Purchase of God. Born of his spirit washed in his blood!”
It is an assurance for times like these.
It is an assurance that there is still safety in the arms of God.
As Christians, along with the rest of the world, see the fallen symbols of shattered security in New York, Washington and Philadelphia; let us not forget to see the one symbol that still stands tall as a symbol of hope….the cross of Christ!