Summary: A September 11th memorial service to mark the tenth anniversary of the attacks
When the Mountain Falls
September 11, 2011
9/11 Service Message
September 11th is one of those moments frozen in time. It is one of those moments that everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. When the first plane struck the tower at 8:45am, it was a moment that would reshape the fabric of life and transform the framework of history.
September 11th will live as one of the greatest tragedies to strike our nation. The events of that day changed the fabric of our society. Those events and those changes are part of what cannot be forgotten.
We cannot forget the lives that were lost on that dreadful day and we cannot forget the lives of those who have been forever changed. We cannot forget the widows who are raising children alone. We cannot forget the parents who will never hold their children again. We cannot forget the heroism shown by ordinary people who rose to the occasion in extraordinary ways. There is power in remembering. There is strength in the memory of where we have been, how far we have come and where we are going.
The psalmist reminds of times like these. Psalm 11:3 says this: What can an honest person do when everything crumbles? CEV
The psalmist uses incredible language to describe the reality of tragedy in life: mountains fall and mountains quake. In the ancient times, mountains were seen as unmovable objects that were permanent. If a mountain was moved, it was reason to be concerned.
On September 11, 2001 mountains were moved for our nation. The mountain of our security fell. The mountain of our financial world crumbled. The mountain of our stability was crushed into chaos. All of this leads me to a crucial question this morning: what do we do when the mountain falls? What do we do when the world around us crumbles?
Please open your Bibles with me to Psalm 46;1-3.
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3
When we are troubled, God is our helper
The psalmist immediately sights the source of our help, the source of our relief: God almighty. Notice that the psalmist uses the word our when they describe God. The assistance that God gives is personal in nature. The help that God offers is specifically tailored to our needs. Think about that for a moment. The God of the universe cares about you in a personal way. The troubles that you go through are on His heart. The trials that you face, he faces with you.
We are meant to lean on God when the world falls apart. When the mountains of life come crashing down; we have a rock we can rely on. We all face situations in life that cause us distress and dismay. We have mountains that feel unstable in the quaking of life.
• Marriages that feel like they are falling apart
• Job situations that seem to crumble
• Health issues that leave us shaken
• Family matters that feel like rumbling
No matter what you might be facing. No matter where you are in your life right now, God is there to help. Remember that the psalmist says that God is almighty, all powerful. There is nothing beyond His ability. God wants to be our refuge.
Refuge: a place of rest and safety, a place of protection and peace
Even when the fabric of life is shaken, God is our source of safety. Nothing can ever shake the foundation of God’s love and mercy. When we are weary from life’s troubles, God is our rest. When life becomes chaotic, God offers us peace.
When we feel forsaken, we are not alone
The psalmist says that God is an ever present help. The language that is used there is clear, God is with us at all times. I will never leave you or forsake you. God makes the promise that He will always be by your side. There never has been and there never will be a time when God leaves you alone. He is there even when it feels like your life is falling apart.
• When the mountain falls to sorrow – God is by your side
• When the mountain falls to weakness – God is by your side
• When the mountain falls to despair – God is by your side
• When the mountain falls to defeat – God is by your side
The same God who hung the stars in place and created humanity in His image is the one we can call LORD. We know Him by name - I Am. Not I will be, can be or might be but I am. The god who parts seas, establishes nations, heals the sick and raises the dead is the very same God who is with you when the mountain falls.