"I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world But for those you gave me, For they are yours by right.Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,I’m praying not only for themBut also for those who will believe in meBecause of them and their witness about me.The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.The same glory you gave me, I gave them,So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—I in them and you in me.Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,And give the godless world evidenceThat you’ve sent me and loved themIn the same way you’ve loved me." John 17:9-10, 20-23 The Message
My heart is so heavy this evening. I, like most Americans, have spent time today reflecting on this day 15 years ago when America as we knew it, changed forever. I have watched so many recounts of this horrific tragedy that changed everything we would ever consider in the term “safe”. As the images scrolled across my television screen, interrupted only by newscasters relaying the details as they came in, tears rolled down my cheeks as I am immediately transported back to that very moment. It was one of those, “I remember exactly where I was” moments for us all.
But as the heartbreaking emotions well up inside of me, another emotion comes alongside. It is the pride that we felt as Americans helping one another, embracing our fellow man, holding each other's hands, and wiping each other’s tears. We indeed became ONE nation, indivisible. So what has happened to us now?
The Scripture set above calls us to be One. Jesus, Himself, prayed this for us...He PRAYED IT FOR US! The terror attacks of 15 years ago shook us to our core. We did not stop to question the police, firefighters, or other first responders; we did what we could to help them. All over America, church doors flew open to welcome the masses than ran back to the foot of the cross. No one cared what color your skin was, what political affiliation you held; we were brothers and sisters united in our efforts to help anyone, in anyway, in any town. Why have we turned into our own terrorists?!
My beautiful brothers and sisters, are we willing to truly remember what happened on September 11, 2001? Are we willing to stand up and say “No More! No More hate, No More rioting, No More baiting!” Are we willing to meet the needs of those who are hurting, sick, in despair? Are we willing to come together, again, and be One Nation, Under God?
Fifteen years ago, America did indeed change forever. In the aftermath of the attacks, however, the unity and resolve of the American citizens was strong and unrelenting. Let us return to that memory, unite as brothers and sisters, and truly honor those nearly 3000 men,women and children who will be in our hearts forever. Let us truly remember them and how great we became when we became One.
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