As our 17th 9/11 comes to a close, it was a day to remember. It seems, as time passes the day should get easier, but today the heaviness of our hearts was multiplied, as storms have taken their toll on our southern shores. Though distracted, many of us have taken at least a few moments to reflect and remember.
Have you ever thought about what we should remember? We remember the events of the day. They are rehearsed for us each year and they should be. But are there other things we should remember? Memories, when remembered well, should spur us onward. They should lift us to live life above any troubles the world has to offer.
If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to offer a few things I think we can remember that will encourage us to explore, believe and act on another reality.
- The world is filled with brokenness. The broken-nature of our world is not relegated to terrorists, though they boldly display it in all its ugliness. It is everywhere and we are all affected by it. “the whole creation has been groaning together… until now…” (Romans 8:22). Creation is awaiting God to restore all things. Until then, we live in brokenness.
- The world is filled with sacrificial love. Even in the ugliness of evil, we get glimpses of real love. The self-sacrifice of those first responders who rushed into the buildings and the passengers who intentionally downed a plane to save lives are real world examples of the love that drove Jesus to the cross. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).
- Christ is Lord of this world. Though it feels that the world is out of control, there is One who reigns. He is the “head of all rule and authority.” (Colossians 2:10). There are still those who oppose this reign, but He is who He is.
- People aren’t the big problem. People are willing victims of a system that entraps them. What we need is freedom, redemption. “For we do not wrestle agains flesh and blood, but against the rulers, agains the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12). Interesting enough, Christ died for all humans, knowing they are trapped.
- Christ is at work bringing reconciliation. Christ isn’t just biding His time asking us to “hold on.” He is active. He is working to restore humanity through faith. “…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself.” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Through His Spirit and the Church, He offers life in His Kingdom.
- We can join Christ in His work. In the way we live out Christ’s purposes and share those truths with others, we participate in what He’s doing in the world. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ. God making his appeal through us. … be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
If we will remember these truths, we will stay yielded to the King of kings. We will be encouraged to let the memories of hardship and pain propel us forward into the Kingdom of God today.
Father, thank you for sustaining us in times of sorrow and pain. And as we remember today, may we keep your greater Kingdom in mind. We long for you to complete Your work in the world. Keep us living toward that Kingdom in sacrificial and reconciling love. And Lord, strengthen all who suffer the pains of this world’s brokenness. Replace their pain with your grace and joy. In Christ’s name and in His power we pray. Amen.