How are you? How is your week going?
I went back and forth for some time this morning on what to say on this day, September 11th. This day is a day full of sadness and sorrow for thousands of people who have lost their loved ones. We remember the loss that occurred 18 years ago. We remember the tragedy. We remember the destruction. We remember the ugliness of sin.
At the same time, we remember those who have served. There were servicemen and honorable citizens who ran toward the chaos and destruction to help, while so many ran the other way. We remember the heroes on Flight 93 who stood up against the hijackers at the cost of their own lives. We remember our military who served in the war that transpired after this event.
I know I’ve talked to many of you about where you were and what you were doing. I was in high school at the time, and I felt like the world was coming to an end. Some of my closest friends asked me about God, the gospel, and the end times. Even then, when everything seemed to be falling apart, the hope of the gospel remained bright.
That day changed America forever. It brought about a sober perspective on reality and life. So many New Yorkers looked for hope and meaning after the tragedy. Pastor Tim Keller mentioned how the attendance at churches increased four-fold, if not more, on the Sundays that followed 9/11. In one of his books, he asked a sobering question about those Sundays. Were the theologies of those churches ready to deal with the gravity of such tragedy? Were those churches ready to share the hope of the gospel that transcends life here on this earth?
I believe those are the questions we can ask ourselves. We remember 9/11 with all its sorrow and pain. We remember the glimmers of God’s grace when we remember our heroes. Even though we may be far removed from the full weight of that event, we experience sorrow, pain, and loss in our lives today. We experience hardship, and we see the ugliness of sin. Although 9/11 was not the end of the world, the end is coming, and it will be far more terrifying than this day 18 years ago.
Are we ready? Do we have the foundation of Psalm 91 that we looked at this past Sunday to deal with the gravity of the sorrow and brokenness in this world and in our lives? Do we have the hope of the gospel that transcends life here on earth and is our assurance even on the Last Day?
The only way is through Christ. We can hold fast to Him, because He has held fast to us through the cross. He is not a Savior who stands far off from our sin and suffering, but He is a Savior who bore our sin, shame, and suffering on the cross. He bore the judgment for us so that we may receive glory on the Last Day.
Beloved, cling to Christ. Trust in Him. Remember the cross. May He be your refuge and fortress in every season, and may He lead you to be a shining light in this dark and broken world.
See you on Sunday for Lord’s Day Worship.
In Christ,
Pastor Tim
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