Summary: Second in a series on Building community
The terrible attack on our land just a few days ago has had one tremendous positive result:
People are praying and singing together.
Sports Stadiums filled with singing and praying people. Congress sang "God Bless America on the steps of the Capitol Building. Children have been praying in school and so have teachers. Groups have come together virtually everywhere.
I heard one report of a group of guys who played soccer every day. They gathered a week following the Sept 11 attack and discovered that Bill was missing. They knew him but not his last name, so they prayed together on the soccer field for Bill, his family, our nation and one another.
Perhaps the most surprising has been the political unity. The party distinction between republican and democrat seems to have disappeared along with the labels of liberal and conservative. This kind of unity as good as it is - we know will not last forever.
It has come and gone before.
Our Parents remember Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt proclaiming December 7th, 1941 as a day of infamy that will never be forgotten. We Baby Boomers remember the assassination of President Kennedy and the image of little John Kennedy, saluting, standing at attention, as the horse drawn caisson carrying his father’s body came down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Our children remember watching the television and being transfixed by the sight of two smoke trails curling away from a ball of fire the awful news that seven heroes of space who a few minutes ago were smiling on TV were… just gone.
We all remember Oklahoma City and Columbine…
Each of these tragedies has brought anguish and pain that has unified… for a time.
The greater the distress, the broader the sweep of the brush containing death the longer the effect.
But it still fades…
It might take years but the unity that the images surrounding four hijacked jets on a beautiful autumn day has brought to our nation will eventually wither and die away.
Jerry Springer and his like will be back on TV exploiting the differences between our many cultures.
The political ring will resemble a battle bots arena as each party and each label attempts to discredit one another with the same ferocity that mechanical robots attempt to disembowel one another.
The flags now waving will be stored in closets and attics and the National Anthem will be ignored in sports arenas while we anxiously wait for the main event to get started.
And the unity will be gone…
I want to tell you… No, that’s not strong enough! I have to proclaim to you that there is a different kind of unity that builds a different kind of community that does not fade, wither, or die away with the passing of time.
It is too is built on tragedy, but tragedy that has been turned to triumph.
There was a terrible cross and there is an empty tomb.
Jesus, God in a physical body like ours, put to death for no good reason by evil men and careless people opened up a way for all of us to rebuild a broken relationship with the Father God.
All who come to Jesus and follow him, who seek to learn his ways and honor him as their head, their king, the President of their life become part of a community that has a unity beyond comparison to any other unity on this earth.
This is the reason He came…
20 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:
23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Unity is the Goal. Jesus wants YOU to experience unity so you can know your Father God.
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you…"
Everyone needs their father… I have friends whose father didn’t hug them or demonstrate his love and acceptance - and that’s all they hunger for.
I have seen men who play sports they hate and work at jobs they aren’t suited for because they think that this will bring them their father’s approval.