Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our nation. All of us remember where we were that fateful morning in 2001, and our hearts still collectively break for the almost 3,000 people who lost their lives that day. While I can’t even comprehend the evil that it took to carry out those attacks, I have tried over the years to not let my anger toward those responsible hold a permanent place in my heart. I have, instead, tried to fill that space with thoughts of how our nation came together in the weeks and months following 9/11. We were not Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, southerners or yankees, we were all united in the cause of caring for one another, loving one another, and showing true compassion for one another. This was evidenced in the story of one town, Gander, Newfoundland. If you don’t know the story, here’s a recap:
Wow, what hospitality! What love! What kindness! Oh, that we could find that spirit in our nation today. In Romans 12:9-18, Paul writes these words that serve as a powerful reminder on how we, as Christians, are to live:
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other…Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other…Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
May these words be our lives today and every day. God bless and see you on Sunday as we dig into Ch. 2 of The Story and God’s plan to pursue his relationship with us!