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Sermon Response: View from 9-12

A Nation Remembers

I am a bit relieved to write "9-12" in my journal today, the day after. I am not sure what I was expecting on our Day of Remembrance. More attacks? National Sadness? Silence? I read moving accounts of people who were changed on that day, remembered loved ones, and commemorated acts of heroism. I recall words written ten years ago by my then 11 year old daughter, "On Monday, we rushed on to avoid the person on the street; on Tuesday, we crossed over and smiled to greet them."

We were different on Tuesday. We talked about how life would never be the same. We were living a time that would be recorded in history books, and now is. As a nation we were a people wanting to capture the moment and yet move on. To stay and go at the same time. It is the wisdom of recording our stories and the greater wisdom of looking back on them.

From them not only can we see how far we've come but in what direction we are headed. That's what the Remembering the Future sermon series has been about. How gracious of the Spirit (or how brilliant of Tom) to see how beautifully it would all dovetail.

Yesterday in worship we got a glimpse into Paul's prison cell as he wrote to his church in Ephesus.Could he have known this letter would circulate to faithful who would be staggering through a temple in ruins?Paul may have known his death was imminent, yet he pens praises to God and expressions of God's infinite love in a letter which will encourage the church. Paul refused to let his jail cell imprison him. He wouldn't despairbecausehe could see beyond his circumstances and theirs to the glorious riches in the throne room of God.

We call those people visionary who can look beyond, but often in crisis we don't know who they are – until we look back. Sometimes then we can seehow prophetic they were and, perhapshow blinded we have been.

You might enjoy this video link of JonStewartfrom the Daily Show that aired the day after the 9-11 attacks. A comedian and satirist turned serious, he reflects the mood and message in New York on September the 12th. Through tears he says, "The view from myapartmentwas the Twin Towers. It isn't any more." He pauses to gather himself and then says, "Now, my view is the Statue of Liberty."

You can destroy our buildings but you can't take away our freedom. And freedom in Christ lasts forever.

~ Wendy LeBolt

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