9-1-1

Today we remember and are still deeply saddened by the events in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, which took place 6 years ago. Yes we have changed.

6 years later, we still swing between tears of grief and deep waves of anger not to mention a certain amount of fear of further attacks. Yes we have changed.

Many of us watch, listen and cry out at our country’s continuing bloody and devastating response. Some things never changed.

The devastating images of the Trade Center are burned deeply in our minds and hearts and still bring us to our knees. The thought of thousands injured or dead continue to bring us untold anguish and pain.

The thought of the thousands who continue to be injured or killed burns in agony in our souls. This kind of terrorism still makes no sense at all. This kind of response to it does not make sense with the teachings of our Christ.

This kind of violence while all too common in our world, once again speaks out loudly and painfully of what intolerance, hate and bigotry can do to all of God’s creation. And while there are no answers, our faith leads us to say:

“God is King, despite the chaos that may be roaring around us.” (Ps 93)

“If one member suffers, the whole body suffers…” (I Cor 12)

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … nothing in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8)

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

“The Lord takes care of me as his sheep; I will not be without any good thing. He makes a resting-place for me in the green fields: he is my guide by the quiet waters. He gives new life to my soul: he is my guide in the ways of righteousness because of his name. Yes, though I go through the valley of deep shade, I will have no fear of evil; for you are with me, your rod and your support are my comfort. You make ready a table for me in front of my haters: you put oil on my head; my cup is overflowing. Truly, blessing and mercy will be with me all the days of my life; and I will have a place in the house of the Lord all my days.” Psalm 23

Today may we find ourselves moved to prayer. May these prayers be for all of the victims, their family and friends.

May we pray for our enemies that their tools of war are made into plow shares.

May we pray for our government to find wisdom, courage and a more Christ like response to this insanity.

Let us pray for God’s protection and a calming of our fears. And may our prayers be accompanied by expressions of our faith – that we hold a responsibility to nurture and celebrate God’s creation rather then seek ways to destroy it.

May the spirit of peace find it’s way from our hearts to those actions which we take.

Rev. Paul M. Turner

About Rev. Paul M. Turner

Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994. He is the editor of the Seeds of Hope blog whose posts from 1999-2005 are at http://whosoever.org/seeds/ -- and which now resides at https://gentlespirit.org/topics/blog/seeds-of-hope/.

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