It’s 9/11. The anniversary of the one day, in our lifetimes, “that will live in infamy.”
I still remember so much about that day, getting a call to turn on our TV, and then watching the live reports from New York as they developed. The first plane crash was thought to maybe be an accident, but we couldn’t believe our eyes to be watching the tragedy unfold right in front of us. Then the second plane hit the second tower, and we knew this was no accident. It was terrorism, and our nation was under attack. Before long there was another report of a plane crashing into the Pentagon, and rumors of others hitting the White House and the U.S. Capitol building (that never happened, of course). We wondered where and when the next attack would come.
Then the towers fell, the two tallest buildings in the western hemisphere violently crashing to the ground in a matter of seconds. We couldn’t wrap our minds around what we were watching. There were tears, there was fear, and there was anger at unseen enemies, terrorists who had ruthlessly killed so many innocent people.
What followed in the days ahead was unlike any period that I can remember. The nation was unified. Members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, stood arm in arm on the steps of the Capital building and sang “God Bless America” together. Cities, big and small, had public prayer services, where Scripture was read, and people called out to God.There was a humility and brokenness in the land. People were more kind and more compassionate.
We all said we would never forget.
Which brings us to September 11, 2020. We are facing another tragedy, a pandemic that has taken the lives of tens of thousands of people in our country. It has left millions jobless, and has had a devastating effect on our nation’s economy. And sadly, it has been turned into a political tool that has divided us even more. I had really hoped that the COVID crisis would bring our nation to its knees in the same way that the terrorist attacks did nineteen years ago. That we would come together in unity to fight our common enemy–a virus that has killed nearly a million people worldwide. But clearly that has not been the case.
And I have to wonder what it will take to break us, to humble us, to draw us together again.
If you are old enough to remember those days after 9/11/01, then I would encourage you to sincerely seek the Lord in prayer for our nation and our world in the same way we did those many years ago. Not with polarized politics. Not pointing fingers at the other side. Just in humble dependence on God to bring us out of this difficult season. Even if you don’t remember those times from 2001, I’m sure you understand how much we need the Lord’s intervention in our world today.
You are probably familiar with God’s challenge to His people, Israel, when they were dedicating the temple in Jerusalem almost 3,000 years ago. Those same words are so applicable to us today: “If My people who are called by My name shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Let’s humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our sin. And may the Lord bring His healing to our land.
I am praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.